Tsarnaev: FBI Agent Clueless on Tweets

In the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial today, defense attorney Miriam Conrad reportedly shredded the testimony of FBI agent David Kimball about tweeting during cross-examination. Yesterday, Kimball testifed to a second twitter account Dzhokhar had called Ghuraba and read tweets from it as well as from his first account. The goal was to make Dzkhokhar seem like a "radicalized killer."

That fell apart today. Among other things, Kimball misidentified a mosque in Grozny as Mecca. He didn't know that many of the tweets were rap song lyrics or were quotes from Comedy Central and other shows. He didn't know the meaning of many slang words. (He guessed "mad cooked" meant crazy. It means high.) He admitted he hadn't even looked up the tweets he was testifying about. He just went with what prosecutors gave him. [More...]

While this has nothing to do with guilt, it could damage the Government's credibility in the penalty phase, where it will dispute Jahar was overly influenced by his brother. In contrast, the defense gained credibility from the moment it began its opening, by admitting Jahar's participation in the bombing.

Brick by brick, the defense is telling its story to support its theme. The agent's testimony highlights for the jury just what the defense said in opening: Jahar was mostly focused on typical teen things like girls, cars, food, sleep, and homework, who became radicalized by his brother. That's the theme of the defense. As you follow the trial, try to follow the story the defense is telling in support of its theme. Everything they do is intended to advance their theme. If a Government witness' testimony doesn't detract from their theme, and is unlikely on cross examination to further it, they don't cross-examine at all.

Yesterday, the prosecution played videos of the Tsarnaev brothers at the scene of the Boston Bombing. In almost all the ones I saw of them together, Jahar is following behind Tamerlan. (A few had them side by side, but I didn't see any with Tamerlan following Jahar.)

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    A picture that says it all: (none / 0) (#1)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Mar 10, 2015 at 09:58:24 PM EST