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Jury Sentences Tsarnaev to Death on Some Counts

The jury has returned a sentence of death for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Counts 4,5,9,10,14, and 15. See Jim Armstrong on Twitter for each finding.

Added:

The counts on which the jury voted for death pertain solely to Lingzi Lu and Martin Richard. The jury did not return death verdicts on counts with Officer Sean Collier or Krystle Campbell.

On the mitigating factors:

  • Only 3 jurors agreed he would not have committed the offense but for Tamerlan.
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Bin Laden Aide Sentenced to Life in Prison

Khalid al-Fawwaz, a Saudi and alleged top aide to Osama bin Laden, was sentenced to life in prison today for his role in the 1998 embassy attacks in Kenya and Tanzania.

He was not charged with helping to plan the attacks, which killed 224 and injured more than 4,000. Instead, prosecutors said he was bin Laden's "bridge to the West" in London, disseminating the al Qaeda leader's violent messages to media outlets and sending supplies to the group's members in Africa.

Related: From VICE: Why anti-terror proposals going after extremist ideas are counter-productive.

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Tsarnaev Jury to Consider 21 Mitigating Factors

The jury is now deliberating the fate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The Court has published the 24 page verdict form on PACER.

There are 21 mitigating factors the jury must consider, but they are not limited to those factors. Each juror can come up with additional mitigating factors on his or her own and assign whatever weight to the factors he or she deems appropiate. [More...]

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Defense Closing in Tsarnaev Trial

Judy Clarke is about to deliver her closing argument in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I'm following Reporter Jim Armstrong on Twitter. Worth mentioning: As Clarke goes through the mitigating factors, keep in mind they do not have to relate to the commission of the offense. [More...]

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Both Sides Rest in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Trial

Both sides rested their case today in the Dzhokar Tsarnaev trial. Closing arguments and deliberations begin Wednesday.

The defense ended its case with the testimony of Sister Helen Prejean. She testified she met with Tsarnaev five times over the past year and he expressed remorse.

"He said it emphatically. He said no one deserves to suffer like they did," said Prejean, the public face of the New Orleans-based Ministry Against the Death Penalty and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. "I had every reason to think that he was taking it in and that he was genuinely sorry for what he did."

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Omar Khadr: America's Shame

Update to my earlier post on Omar Khadr today: Driving home, I was listening to satellite radio reporting on Omar Khadr's release on bail. They were all suggesting he got off easy. That's preposterous.

I'm going to reprint a post below I wrote in March, 2010, which includes source links. I'm also adding links to additional case documents at the end.

I highly recommend this 81 page defense motion filed in his case which details his case, his history, the evidence and the torture and coercive treatment inflicted on him. His plea agreement is here. Here are the two diplomatic notes between the U.S. and Canada acknowledging Canada could release him at any time. My post on his sentencing is here. [More...]

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Tsarnaev Jury Hears About Life at Supermax

Yesterday and today, the defense in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial presented evidence about life at Supermax in Florence, CO.

Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sought Wednesday to convince jurors in the death-penalty case that Tsarnaev could end up in the country’s most secure federal prison, locked in a cell 23 hours a day, with limited communication with the outside world — if the jury votes for a life sentence.

...Under those conditions, Tsarnaev would be limited to two 15-minute telephone conversations with only immediate family members each month, his mail would be screened, and he would be confined to a single-inmate cell.

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Tsarnaev Prosecutors Threaten to Remove Defense Witnesses Before They Testify Witnesses

The Government reached a new low in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial this week, in my opinion. At a hearing outside the presence of the jury, AUSA William Weinreib complained about the security costs and FBI time spent ensuring the safety of five of Tsarnaev's relatives who traveled here from Russia to testify for him. They threatened to the FBI will take them back to Russia if the defense doesn't call them by Friday.

“It’s an enormous expense and distraction for the agency, and that’s just part of the expense that the government has endured,” federal prosecutor William Weinreb said during a closed-door meeting Monday with the defense and Judge George O’Toole, according to transcripts shown on the court's public terminal.

The Sixth Amendment compulsory process clause guarantees defendants the right to have witnesses brought to trial to testify for the defense: [More...]

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Tsarnaev Defense Begins Making Case for Life

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's defense team began making the case for life instead of death today. From David Bruck's opening statement: (Taken from WBZ reporter Jim Armstrong's live tweets in court.) [More...]

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Tsarnaev Cell Video : Where's the Anger?

Here's the 36 second video of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that was played to the jury. I don't see any anger, just boredom. Who wouldn't be bored sitting alone in a holding cell all day?

What a big to-do about nothing. The reporter who said his face showed huge anger should cover something other than criminal trials.

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Death Penalty Trial Begins for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

The Government gave its opening statement today in the death penalty trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Live updates are here. At the end of her opening, the prosecutor giving the opening displayed a screengrab of a security camera video of Tsarnaev in his cell raising his middle finger to the camera. It hasn't been admitted into evidence, so there isn't a copy, but the media reports it was taken a year ago and shows his face was scarred and he was very angry.

The defense deferred their opening until the start of their case. Several witnesses testified as to their injuries in graphic detail. Victim impact testimony in these cases is always horrific. Over defense objection, the judge admitted a video of one victim on the ground, with constant blood curdling screams. [More...]

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OKC Bombing: 20 Years Later

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, for which Timothy McVeigh was executed in June, 2001.

On April 19, 1995, President Clinton said during his first national address [More...]

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Victim's Family Asks Govt to Let Tsarnaev Have Life Sentence

The family of Martin Richards, the youngest victim killed in the Boston Marathon bombings, has written a public request asking the Government to withdraw its request for the death penalty.

"We understand all too well the heinousness and brutality of the crimes committed. We were there. We lived it.... "The defendant murdered our 8-year-old son, maimed our 7-year-old daughter, and stole part of our soul. We know that the government has its reasons for seeking the death penalty, but the continued pursuit of that punishment could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives."

The Richards want Tsarnaev to accept a sentence of life without parole and waive his right to future appeals.

AUSA Carmen Ortiz responded with a non-answer.

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Tsarnaev: Making the Case for Life

The penalty phase of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial doesn't begin until April 21. In the meantime, here's a photo I came across yesterday.

I think it effectively communicates more than the difference in age between the brothers. Tamerlan is just so dominant in the photo. Even the way he has his arm around Jahar seems controlling to me. Looking at it, it is hard to see how, even years later, Jahar would be his "equal partner" in anything.

Also, here's a letter Dzhokhar submitted to UMass Dartmouth in January, 2013 in an application to have his financial aid reinstated: [More....]

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Tsarnaev Convicted on All Counts

The jury found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts today.

The Boston Globe, in an editorial, urges a life sentence.

For jurors who believe execution should be reserved for the worst criminals, the lawyers laid out a clear path to conclude Dzhokhar wasn’t even the worst of the Tsarnaevs.

....Tsarnaev was 19 at the time of the bombing; he was apparently a heavy drug user; he had no prior criminal record. By themselves, none of these would seem like a particularly good reason to spare him, but taken as a whole, and alongside evidence of his brother’s dominant role, they should plant seeds of doubt.

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