Tsarnaev: Judge Slams Govt's Attempt to Use "Betrayal of US" as Aggravating Factor

The federal judge in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev case has denied the Government's request to include "betrayal of the U.S." as an aggravating factor in the penalty phase of his trial, calling the attempt "highly inappropriate."

Federal prosecutors have argued, in part, that Tsarnaev, now 20, deserves the death penalty because he betrayed his allegiance to the country that granted him asylum and, later, citizenship.

The defense countered with:

"(I)n not one of the 492 cases before Mr. Tsarnaev's has the government cited the fact of a defendant's American citizenship, the way he became a citizen, any aspect of his immigration history, or his enjoyment of the freedoms of an American citizen as a reason to sentence him to death,"

The Judge ruled it was "highly inappropriate" for prosecutors to draw a distinction between a "naturalized" and "natural-born" U.S. citizen.[More...]

The judge rejected a defense request for sanctions against the Government if its law enforcement agents don't stop leaking information, but he warned the Government about talking to the media.

A change of venue motion is still pending. I'll discuss that in the next post.

< World Cup Day 7 | Tsarnaev Trial: Change of Venue Request >
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    Demonize "the other"... (none / 0) (#1)
    by unitron on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 10:01:03 PM EST
    ...is always a classic.

    If this kid had been some home-grown right-wing nut job, they wouldn't be going down this road.  How thoughtful of him to have a "funny" name and foreign background.

    Of course, setting to one side for a moment the presumption of innocence, I wouldn't think he'd need any further demonizing when you consider that which will almost certainly be proven to have been done by him and his brother.