Dzhokhar Hears Rights, Goes Silent

To avoid execution, cooperating may be his best bet

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 25, 2013 6:45 AM CDT | Updated Apr 25, 2013 7:54 AM CDT

(Newser) – Revelations from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have dribbled out over the last three days, but that may be about to change. Right after hearing his Miranda rights read, he stopped talking, officials tell the AP. The silence came sixteen hours after law enforcement began interrogating the Boston suspect; during that period, he said his brother had just recently convinced him to join in the bomb plot. Cooperating with officials, however, could be Tsarnaev's best hope of avoiding the death penalty, Bloomberg notes. Another option: Show that his brother "brainwashed" him.

"It is well known that older siblings can often have tremendous power over younger siblings," says a civil liberties lawyer. Tsarnaev's defense team is likely to cite that "overpowering influence," the lawyer says. Tsarnaev may also get a boost from lawyer Miriam Conrad, a federal public defender with experience in similar cases. (She formerly represented this man.) "If anyone can provide this young man with a tenacious, effective defense, it’s Miriam Conrad," says a colleague who defended "shoe-bomber" Richard Reid. Bloomberg has more on what to expect in court. (Meanwhile, officials reveal more details from the night Tsarnaev was apprehended.)

This file photo provided Friday, April 19, 2013 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
This file photo provided Friday, April 19, 2013 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.   (AP Photo/Federal Bureau of Investigation, File)
ATF and FBI agents check suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for explosives and also give him medical attention after he was apprehended in Watertown, Mass.
ATF and FBI agents check suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for explosives and also give him medical attention after he was apprehended in Watertown, Mass.   (AP Photo/File)
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