Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Seeks Trial Delay

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers are asking for a trial delay, primarily due to last minute document dumps by the Government, as well as new expert witness disclosures. The Government opposes the delay. I've uploaded the defense motion here and the Government's motion here. (Addresses and phone numbers of defense counsel redacted.) From the Defense motion:

The size of the witness list:

On December 15, the government provided a witness list (comprised of 590 “law enforcement personnel” and 142 “civilian witnesses”) and an exhibit list (naming 1,238 exhibits and an additional 413 “files contained on digital exhibits”).

On the recent document dumps: [More...]

Also on December 15, the government produced 5 disks and two hard drives (collectively, 166.87 gigabytes) containing witness-related information and other discovery. The government did not include copies (or photographs) of actual listed exhibits, the materials were not Batesnumbered, and no index was provided. ...On December 17, the government produced a single disk (2.41 gigabytes) containing what it described as “392 records” comprised of 2,623 individually Bates-stamped pages and other items, including more than 33 hours of audio recordings. No index was provided.

The Government, in its reply, makes it fairly clear that Jahar's friend Steven Silva, who recently pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and an unlawful weapon, and whose plea agreement is sealed, will be a witness against Jahar. It is believed that a weapon in Silva's possession ended up with the Tsarnaevs. There are reports that this was the weapon used to shoot the MA police officer while the Tsarnaevs were "on the run." You can read more about him in "Silva, Silva and Tsarnaev: A Confusing Story."

To give you an idea of just how much material is filed under seal, here's just the last 10 days of the docket. Out of five pages, there are just a few public items. Still, it's better than when the case started and the docket wasn't even showing that sealed items had been filed.

(Cross posted at new TL site here.)

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  • Display: Sort:
    So What is Preventing a Plea Bargain? (none / 0) (#1)
    by RickyJim on Mon Dec 29, 2014 at 06:02:08 PM EST
    It seems that a trial will cost the public a lot of money.  Is what is going on behind the scenes, a refusal by certain people in the US Justice Department that any result less than the death penalty is unacceptable?

    His lawyers said as much (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Dec 29, 2014 at 10:33:13 PM EST
    Yet again today this week in a pleading (Doc 828)they wrote:

    It was the government that elected to
    pursue the death penalty in this case. If the government remains unwilling to relent in
    seeking death and the case therefore must be tried, the defense is asking for nothing more
    than a trial that is fair.

    I seem to recall them saying the same thing early on.


    If I Were the Attorney General (none / 0) (#4)
    by RickyJim on Tue Dec 30, 2014 at 08:50:40 AM EST
    I would institute cost/benefit analysis into decision making.

    Jeralyn said the Oklahoma case consumed (none / 0) (#5)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Dec 30, 2014 at 10:37:58 AM EST
    $80 million taxpayer dollars.  

    Who knows where this one will end at.  Just look at the number of witnesses (590 LEA plus 142 civilians) and exhibits (1,238 physical plus 413 digital).  Add to that the cost of making everything a BFS (Big Effin' Secret).

    I fear for the taxpayer.


    come on over (none / 0) (#6)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Dec 30, 2014 at 10:44:45 AM EST
    its easy to start paying taxes.

    Your comment appears to assume (none / 0) (#2)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 29, 2014 at 07:31:36 PM EST
    the defendant wants a plea bargain.