The Obama administration has announced that it will employ the little-used public-safety exception to question Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev without reading him his Miranda rights.
It’s an uncommon justification that the FBI explains dates back to September 11, 1980, and involves neutralizing remaining threats to public safety before “Mirandizing” a suspect.
According to the FBI:
The origin of the public safety exception to Miranda, the case of New York v. Quarles, began in the early morning hours of September 11, 1980. While on routine patrol in Queens, New York, two New York City police officers were approached by a young woman who told them that she had just been raped. She described the assailant as a black male, approximately 6 feet tall, wearing a leather jacket with “Big Ben” printed in yellow letters on the back. The woman told the officers that the man had just entered a nearby supermarket and that he was carrying a gun.