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Criminal Law Blog

Rahami Legal Limbo

September 23, 2016 | by Einhorn Barbarito

The alleged Chelsea bomber, Ahmad Khan Rahami, remains in legal limbo with no ability to obtain legal representation. The federal public defender has been stymied in his efforts to provide legal counsel to the suspect since the federal magistrate found that federal jurisdiction has not yet attached.

New Jersey has filed charges against Rahami, but the public defender system will not kick in until further down the procedural timeline. This actually presents a potential stumbling block to the various law enforcement agencies—if he had representation, Rahami might waive his Miranda rights and provide much sought-after information in return for a possible plea deal. Without representation, it is unlikely that the suspect will speak or waive his rights, as any statement he might give would be subject to attack due to this limbo situation.


This situation presents just one of the problems with multiple jurisdictions seeking charges against a single defendant.

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