United Kingdom

Unlike Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Suspected British Beheaders of Soldier Unlikely To Be Questioned at Hospital


Credit: Ministry of Defence

On Wednesday, a British soldier was murdered on a street in London. Both of the suspects, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, were shot and arrested at the scene and have been taken to separate hospitals.

After the Boston Marathon bombing the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was also injured and taken to hospital.

Unlike Tsarnaev, Adebolajo and Adebowale are unlikely to be questioned by police while they are in hospital. Ben Moshinsky and Erik Larson of Bloomberg explain:

Unlike in the U.S., Britain's police code of conduct prohibits officers from interviewing suspects about offenses anywhere other than a police station or another authorized place of detention, unless a delay could harm others or lead to a loss of evidence."

Sometimes we have clients interviewed in hospital and we could argue that the evidence is inadmissible," Ruth Hamann, a lawyer at law firm Hodge, Jones & Allan LLP in London, said in a telephone interview. "The police would probably be cautious about asking questions while the suspects are in hospital. It's a gray area."

Earlier this month Jacob Sullum wrote on the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and why it was not necessary for the FBI to invoke a public safety exception to the Miranda rule so that he could be questioned in hospital about the whereabouts of potential unexploded bombs.


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  1. Yeah, that dude looks British, may he rest in peace. As for the Limeys not questioning the attackers in the hospital, that’s the very reason why they lost to us in WW2.

    1. Fist of Etiquette| 5.24.13 @ 5:03PM |#
      Yeah, that dude looks British


      That’s just mean.

      You have to credit the brits for their adherence to bureaucratic rigor. Two guys chop a soldiers head off in the middle of the street in broad daylight, proudly announce on the scene they were glad to do it and will do it again, and that they are personally waging war to overthrow the existing government of England, and then wait for the cops to come.

      And the prosecutors are worried about ‘evidence’.

    2. Yeah, that dude looks British

      How can you tell with his mouth closed?

      1. “The Big Book of British Smiles”

  2. Questioning suspects in “a police station or another authorized place of detention” is only a benefit if there exists meaningful review of these facilities by an outside source. Colombia and some other LA nations have similar policies in place, and it’s not for the benefit of the accused so much as a way for police officers to have a controlled environment where, say, no one can film the “interrogation”.

    At any rate, I’ve been less than impressed at the way that the British system has handled this and other incidents in the past.

  3. Yeah, and BTW Reason editors = you couldn’t find a photo of the murdered soldier that *didn’t* make him look like a complete stereotype of Pompous Silly British Pretention?

    Or… jesus, is that the stock photo the Brits are passing to the press… as an example of his “good side”? For fucks sake. Someone tell them its a fucking insult. First someone cuts his head off for no reason, then the fucking government he swore to protect makes him look like a total poof after he’s dead. Well done, England. (slow clap)

  4. Wow has Britain sunk. No honor.

    How could you fucking tolerate shitheads like that in YOUR COUNTRY?

    Take out the filth already. Find your backbone you limey pricks.

    I should talk, not sure if Canadians or Americans would be any tougher.

    1. I was going to say Americans would be tougher– and cite Jack Ruby–but McVeigh makes a great counter-example. So who knows?

  5. Don’t worry! They are getting to the bottom of the problem here in London.


    A 22-year-old man has been charged on suspicion of making malicious comments on Facebook following the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby.

    Benjamin Flatters, from Lincoln, was arrested last night after complaints were made to Lincolnshire Police about comments made on Facebook, which were allegedly of a racist or anti-religious nature.

    He was charged with an offence of malicious communications this afternoon in relation to the comments, a Lincolnshire Police spokesman said.

    1. I hope they interview him in a police station. That’s what is important.

  6. Suspected? Really? They posed with the body.

    It’s really only a matter of time before England is under Sharia law, anyway.

    1. I just looked at some pictures of the CSI team in London “gathering evidence”. There were like fifty guys in full scrubs with gas masks delicately picking through blades of grass for additional clues.

      Da fuq?

      Um, scores of people watched these two degenerates behead the guy in broad daylight. I’m not sure what “evidence” really needs to be gathered here.

      1. they have to be sure he didnt trip and his head just fell off.

      2. “I’m not sure what “evidence” really needs to be gathered here.”

        They have to be sure that no one tried to fight back. For the Brits, self-defense is a far greater crime than murder.

    2. If the reactions of the people I saw in the video from the other day are any indication it should only take about 3 days to establish the Caliphate.

      1. James II must be pissed.

  7. It was my understanding that, in fact, the FBI knowingly risked having anything that Tsarnaev said be inadmissible. I think they really did believe they needed to get information about additional bombs, and that doing so was more important than making sure that the results of any questioning could be used against the suspect.

    So we’re comparing apples with apples. The Brits weren’t afraid of any knives lying around waiting to behead people. (Well, maybe they were, since they are Brits after all, but that’s beside the point.)

    The FBI was afraid that there could be bombs lying around, and that they could go off and kill people.

    So the Brits had no reason to question anyone in the hospital. Their priority is to keep the evidence clean.

    The FBI did have reason to question Tsarnaev for public safety. So their priorities were different.

    I’m the last person to want civil liberties violated, and I’m reflexively anti-LE. I think that the de facto martial law in Boston was genuinely frightening, and that much of what the cops did there simply trampled the Constitution.

    And yet, even I figure the FBI probably did the right thing under the circumstances. So did the Brits.

    Not sure what the big whoop is, here, really.

    1. I join you in not being sure what Feeney’s angle is. I have to believe he’s trying to paint Britain in a better light than America because that’s the only goat Reason can have in this fight. (the Miranda rule has nothing to do with the location of questioning so I’m doubly confused about his angle)

      I suspect the FBI figured that they had plenty of evidence to convict the guy regardless of what he said while in custody, so they didn’t care about Miranda. And there’s always enemy combatant status if he doesn’t get convicted.

    2. the FBI knowingly risked having anything that Tsarnaev said be inadmissible.

      I don’t think that really matters. It’s not like they can’t make a case without a confession.


      1. Well, exactly.

        And we have a guy who put shrapnel bombs in crowds, and firebombed a goddamned public library.

        There are good reasons to question him about more bombs, more conspirators, etc.

        There is a thing called “public safety” and as much as I loathe LE overreach, this was the rare case that was not an example. I don’t care what Monday-morning quarterbacks say.

  8. What sickened me most was how all the disarmed, pussified subjects just stood around while those two rabid dogs committed premeditated murder. Un-fucking-believable.

    God bless North Carolina. Let them try it here.

    1. That was my point above. I can’t imagine someone doing that here in SC and then casually walking up to a camera man to brag while everyone else just acts like nothing happened.

      1. I’m from a heavily armed area. Everyone owns and carries. Lead is the only appropriate response when animals like those guys strike.

    2. I think that even here in California, anyone in the vicinity of a crime like this would be inclined to grab a rock or a brick and intervene…


      1. where are angry mobs when you truly need them?

  9. So the British have a public safety exception too.


    Anyhoo, in more important news, Canadian Terrorists strike at the heart of the U.S. Transportation system.

    I’m against profiling, but in the case of our precious I5, I’ll make an exception when it comes to our shifty neighbors to the north.


  10. In The Land of the Free the police would have forcibly prevented dudes from getting any medical attention.

  11. Here’s another thing I don’t get: Why not shoot to kill?

  12. What’s the point of questioning these perps? There’s video of the crime.


  13. “Britain’s police code of conduct prohibits officers from interviewing suspects about offenses anywhere other than a police station”

    Code of conduct or Union rules?

  14. Until the West stands up against Islam instead of picking on the Jews in a craven fashion, Muslims will continue their orgiastic murders. The Brits have not learned anything since Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Adolf Hitler. Come to think of it, we in America haven’t learned anything about the perils of appeasement either.

    Did you clowns at Reason only think it would only be the Jews the Muslims kill? It may start with us Jews, but it doesn’t stop with us. And if Israel — G-d forbid — disappears, it will just be a step closer for the Muslims to have their worldwide caliphate. In the worldwide caliphate, you dhimmis will have to pay the jizya (poll tax) with two slaps to the face (in between the massacres, that is).

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