With concurrent jurisdictions presiding over the Boston bombing case, it would not be considered double jeopardy for both the state and federal government to prosecute, says retired Superior Court Judge Eugene Hyman, of Santa Clara, California. It also wouldn't be double jeopardy if he were to be found, hypothetically, not guilty in one jurisdiction and guilty in the other.
As Massachusetts does not have the death penalty but the federal government does, by prosecuting the suspect federally, he might be eligible for the death penalty. That being said, it has been decided that they will proceed federally. Judge Hyman believes this has some advantages to it from an appellate standpoint. "If he's already in federal court, from an appellate standpoint, there would only be the district court, federal court of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court," he says. "If filed first in Massachusetts, besides going through the Massachusetts court system, you'd wind up thereafter for appeals in the federal district court of appeals and U.S. Supreme Court, so you bypass a whole appellate system by filing in the state system," adds Hyman.
According to Judge Hyman, in a case like this, there is no advantage to prosecuting him twice because even if the federal government decides not to prosecute for the death penalty, the number of years he'll be receiving because of the death and injuries that occurred as a result of his actions, "the reality is he's never getting out."
Another issue being raised in the press is regarding the suspect receiving his miranda rights. Hyman says he may never be advised of his miranda rights, adding that there is a huge misconception in terms of when miranda rights are required. They're required in the event you want to use statements from someone in custody and is required to be admonished if they want admissable statements, says Hyman. If they feel they have sufficient evidence, which it sounds like they do in this case, they don't need his statements in order to convict him, notes Hyman. If they don't advise the suspect of his miranda rights, "it's not a get out of jail free card, as it makes no difference," says Hyman.
Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.