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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Docket: Missing Entries

Yesterday, the Judge in the Boston bombing case of defendant Dzokhar Tsarnaev issued an order denying a motion filed under seal in which the defense asked to take periodic photographs of Dzhokhar (Jahar) at Devens Medical Facility to be able to document his evolving physical and emotional state. The court declined to interfere with BOP policy which disallows visitors to have cameras on security grounds. It ruled that the staff at the prison can take the photos which will be shared with both parties (not just the defense.) Here is the Court's order, referencing the motion which was filed under seal as Docket Number 29. The order also refers to a response the Government filed under seal.

Looking at the docket, it appears that there have been many motions filed under seal, because so many numbers are missing. Instead of listing the docket number with a descriptive notation like "Motion to Suppress, Sealed, by Defendant", there's a big nothing. See below: [More..]

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Details on Dzokhar Tsarnaev's Solitary Confinement

RiaNovosti in Russia recently interviewed Devens Medical Center spokesman John Colautti about Dzokhar Tsarnaev's conditions of confinement.

Jahar is locked down 23 hours a day 5 days a week and 24 hours a day on weekends. He has no TV. He could listen to a walkman radio if he had $45 to buy it. His meals are brought to his cell. A book cart is brought by his cell a few days a week. He eats every meal alone in his cell. He gets three showers a week -- in his cell. He's not allowed contact with other prisons. Even if his injuries improve and he is moved to another facility, it's unlikely his living conditions will be any different -- he'll be deemed to be a "celebrity" inmate who needs to be segregated from general population. This could easily go on for a year.

The only people he sees besides medical staff are his lawyers, and they are 30 miles away. He still can't have visitors because it takes a while. He has to submit the names of visitors -- they have to be people he knew before being arrested -- and then a thorough background check is done on them.

His cell is about 10 feet by 10 feet and contains only a bed bolted to the floor, a sink and a toilet. When he is taken out for exercise, he is shackled at the hands and feet by two guards, and brought to a cage type place outdoors where he can exercise. If weather is inclement, there's an indoor room where he could exercise alone. If the prison gets put on lockdown, or staff is short (e.g. from furloughs), he doesn't get to go.

More details here.

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Govt Agrees to Bond for Robel Phillipos

The Government and Defense have filed a joint motion to continue today's hearing in Robel Phillipos case. It includes a stipulation for release on bond. From the Motion:

Since the initial appearance, the parties have conferred extensively and now agree that the Court can fashion strict conditions of release that will reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance at future proceedings.

Specifically, the parties recommend that the Court impose the following conditions: (a) home confinement at the residence of a third-party custodian; (b) defendant shall be monitored for 24 hours a day on an electronic bracelet; and [c] his release will be secured by a secured bond in the amount of $100,000.

Robel filed a motion for bond on Saturday. Links to bond pleadings are here.

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Sunday Tsarnaev-Related News

The FBI is again searching the residence where Tamerlan Tsarnaev lived with his wife at 410 Norfolk St.

Ruslan Tsarnev (the uncle from Maryland) is at the funeral home where the director is still pleading for the Government to step in and find a place to bury Tamerlan, whose body is now being prepared for a proper Muslim burial.

Defendant Robel Phillipos is seeking bail. I have uploaded the bond motion, his mother's affidavit and Robel's resume. [More...]

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Gov't Appeals Tounisi Bail Order, Bail Order Revoked

Yesterday, 18 year old Abdella Tounisi, the latest terror sting victim of the FBI, was ordered released on bail by a U.S. Magistrate Court Judge. The Government immediately appealed to the District Court Judge who today reversed the Magistrate Court Judge. Tounisi will remain in custody.

Here's the story if you haven't been following the case. [More...]

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More Unauthorized Leaks of Tsarnaev Post-Arrest Statements

All it takes is for one or two unnamed federal law enforcement officials to make an unsubstantiated claim and every media outlet runs with it as if it is true. The latest: Claims that Dzhokhar Tsnarnev told the FBI the bombs for Boston were made in the apartment Tamerlan Tsarnaev shared with his wife and that the brothers initially planned on bombing Boston on the 4th of July but it was so easy to build the bombs they moved up their timetable

Via CNN:

The bombs used in the Boston Marathon attack were built in the apartment that suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev shared with his wife and child, a U.S. law enforcement official with first-hand knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Thursday. The official was not authorized to release the information.

....Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, initially planned to carry out an attack on July 4, but their bombs were ready earlier than they expected and they decided to move up the date, a U.S. law enforcement official told CNN on Thursday.

Via ABC: [More...]

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Lynne Stewart May Get Early Release Due to Cancer

New York civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart has the backing of medical authorities at BOP Federal Medical Center Carswell to be released from her 10 year terrorism-related sentence due to advanced cancer. Her request will now go to the BOP and federal court, hopefully for approval.

You can read her press release here. Stewart has been battling cancer since 2006.

Stewart's conviction stretched the definition of material support to a terrorist organization to new limits. Here's a transcript of an interview she and her trial lawyer Michael Tigar gave after the jury found her guilty.

Lynne's website is here. You can sign the petition to free her here. [More...]

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Judy Clarke Appointed to Represent Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev just got the biggest gift of his life -- Judy Clarke has been appointed by the court to represent him along with the Federal Defenders.

Among the lives Judy has helped save: Jared Loughner, Eric Rudolph, Susan Smith, and Ted Kaczinski.

I wrote a week ago that her phone must be ringing off the hook, and I'm so glad she accepted the appointment. There is no one more suited for the task and more capable. More on Judy here and here.

Tsarnaev has become the new poster child for "the worst of the worst." If anyone can gain his trust to be able to provide him an effective defense and save his life, it's Judy.

Judy rarely talks to the media but last week, she was the keynote speaker at a Loyola Law School conference, and spoke a little bit about being a death defense lawyer.

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Solitary at Devens' Segregated Housing Unit

John Collauti, the public relations spokesman for the Federal Medical Center at Devens, says Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in segregation in a small cell with a steel door that allows food to be passed through and prison officials to watch him.

Collauti said in a telephone interview that Tsarnaev is in secure housing where authorities can monitor him. His cell has a solid steel door with an observation window and a slot for passing food and medication.....[M]edical workers making rounds each shift monitor the inmates. He said guards also keep an eye on some cells with video cameras.

Also, inmates in the more restrictive section do not have access to TVs or radios, but can read books and other materials, he said.

In other words, he's in the hole. [More...]

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Moved From Hospital: Boston Updates

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been moved from the hospital to BOP's medical prison at Fort Devens. Here's an interesting overview of the facility from a brochure seeking psychology interns.

The New York Times has transcribed the interview his parents gave yesterday in Makhachkala, Russia.

Authorities now say the carjacking did not happen in Cambridge, but across the river in Allston. Also, they have been searching the Crapo Hill Landfill in New Bedford, perhaps for a computer.

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Time for a Gag Order in Boston Bombing Case

The law enforcement leaks are over the top. It is inexcusable that the FBI or law enforcement officials with whom they shared information are leaking details of a purported confession by Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The Washington Post has more leaks. Among the unnamed sources cited: A senior law enforcement official; a U.S. counter-terrorism official; "a U.S. official who has been briefed on the interrogation and who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing"; and a U.S. intelligence official. [More...]

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Legal Analogies to Boston Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Update 7:40 pm ET: CNN reports Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is awake and answering law enforcement's questions. No wonder the U.S. Attorney didn't file charges today. They didn't want a lawyer appointed who could demand to see him and advise him not to sign any waivers. The Boston Police Commissioner said today the brothers acted alone. Where's the continuing public safety threat? An internal FBI policy memo that extends the public safety exception beyond what the Supreme Court has authorized is not controlling law.

Can the Federal Defender file a "miscellaneous action" and ask to be appointed now for the limited purpose of advising him of his rights and request an order directing the FBI to allow them to meet with him before it attempts to secure any waivers?

Update 1:18 pm: It looks like the feds won't be able to use the Faisal Shahazad scenario with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He cannot speak at all due to being shot in the throat. Thus, it's unlikely he can be questioned at all, or that he would be able to provide a knowing and voluntary waiver of his right to timely appear before a judge and be appointed counsel after charges are filed and before presentment. Due to his injuries and inability to be questioned, reports now say charges will be filed, perhaps today, a judge will advise him at the hospital, and the public defender's representation would be effective upon advisement. [More...]

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Boston Bombing Developments: Saturday

Here's a thread to discuss continuing developments in the Boston Marathon Bombing case and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The Federal Defender in MA today said it expects its office to be appointed to be appointed.

What I've been reading:

What I'm not reading: Any of the garbage put out by Lindsay Graham. [More...]

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Guantanamo Judge Orders End to Secret Censoring of Hearing Testimony

An unnamed government agency has been secretly monitoring court proceedings in the pre-trial hearings of the 9/11 defendants at Guantanamo and pushing the censor button. The judge today ordered it to stop.

Army Col James Pohl ordered an unnamed government agency to remove censorship equipment, as a second round of pretrial hearings finished on Thursday....The judge said in his ruling that he had sole authority to decide when to close a hearing or stop spectators - including journalists and relatives of the victims - from listening to testimony.

From the transcript [Unofficial/Unauthenticated Transcript of the KSM et al. (2) Hearing Dated 1/31/2013 from 9:01 AM to 9:22 AM, accessible here.) [More...]

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Rana Sentencing: Judge Rejects Terror Enhancement

Tahawwur Rana, David Headley's co-defendant in the Chicago terror case related to the Mumbai bombings and planned attack on a Danish newspaper, was sentenced to 14 years today. The Government had sought a 30 year sentence.

Rana was convicted on two counts of a Superseding Indictment (Counts Eleven and Twelve) of conspiring to providing material support to a plot to attack a private newspaper in Denmark, the Jyllands-Posten, and providing material support to Lashkar e Tayyiba (“Lashkar” or “LeT”), a designated terrorist organization. The plot against the Jyllands-Posten was not executed, and no one was killed or injured.

Rana was acquitted on a third charge (Count Nine) which alleged that he conspired to provide material support to attacks in India, including the Mumbai attack in 2008. (Counts Nine and Eleven were charged as a conspiracy, Count 12 was charged as a substantive offense.)

The Judge rejected the Government's request to apply the terror enhancement guideline to Rana. Under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, the enhancement provides for a 12 level increase in the base offense level, and automatic placement in criminal history category VI (the highest category) if a defendant’s “offense is a felony that involved or was intended to promote a federal crime of terrorism.” [More...]

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