Tsarnaev Jury to Begin Deliberations in Guilt Phase

The alternates in the Boston Marathon Bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were disclosed today after closing arguments. The 12 jurors deciding his fate include 7 women and 5 men.

In closings today, the Government said Jahar and Tamerlan were partners and Jahar wanted to punish America. Reporter Jim Armstrong of WBZ in Boston has a lot of quotes from both side's closings on his twitter feed here.

Judy Clarke agreed Jahar committed the bombings, but focused on the different roles of the brothers. [More...]

"We don't deny that Jahar fully participated in these events. But if not for Tamerlan" they would not have happened.

"Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stands ready by your verdict to be held responsible for his actions."

What does any of this matter if we know #Tsarnaev carried the bomb down Boylston? It matters because you are entitled to know the full picture, Clarke says.

#Tsarnaev's tweets that seem ominous came from rap lyrics, from comedians, from poems. That's not a jihadi in the making, she says.

Let's look at #Tsarnaev's browsing history; he went to Facebook and VK (Russian Facebook) "This is a kid doing kid things."

"We do not deny that he had these extremist materials on his computer, but he's be honest about how prominent they were in his life & when."

"Let's be honest about what the evidence actually shows. We are not asking you to excuse the conduct."

"You know who made these bombs; it was Tamerlan."
Tamerlan was the leader, Jahar the follower. But for Tamerlan, these bombings would never have happened. Tamerlan bought all the ingredients. Tamerlan killed the officer. This is the theme the defense will focus on in closing, in an attempt to get a life sentence.

"It was Tamerlan who bought the pressure cookers."
Dzhokhar was in Dartmouth; There were no bomb-making instructions on Dzhokar's computer.

Tamerlan did the research, he had the Russian-language translation of the Inspire bomb-making docs.

Tamerlan alone talked to Dun Meng, you remember that. Tamerlan led, and Jahar followed.

It "is simply not true" that #Tsarnaev self-radicalized. The evidence is Tamerlan built bombs and Tamerlan killed Collier.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I oppose the death penalty (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 06, 2015 at 11:15:15 PM EST
    that said, I'm not sure I would not personally prefer it to life without the possibility of parole.  

    In Isolation... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 07:30:18 AM EST
    ...as well.

    In general, I like being alone and I feel like I could do a month in isolation, no problem, but to never talk to someone beyond the people guarding me would be horrific.

    I would go nuts, especially at his age.


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 08:33:29 AM EST
    its hard to say until you have the choice to make I'm sure.  I might change my mind when there but I agree with you.   For me the the would be more about confinement than solitude.

    Where Tsarneov will probably spend (none / 0) (#14)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 12:06:37 PM EST
    the rest of his life -  The American Dungeon Facility in Florence, Colorado, aka, the ADX.

    It is, according to a former warden, "a clean version of hell."


    Yeah but, (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 10:03:03 AM EST
      The actual jurors are "death qualified" meaning that they at least stated under oath they would be willing to consider all sentencing options including death.

      So, that poll is not fairly representative of the population from which the jury was drawn and we have no way of determining how many of those who were polled selected LWOP because they are categorically  opposed to the death penalty.

    while that's true (none / 0) (#8)
    by CST on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 10:11:48 AM EST
    All they need is one person to vote no.  I think you're more likely to find that one in a place where there is overwhelming opposition.

    Well, (none / 0) (#9)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 10:14:47 AM EST
      if you are saying it might be easier in Boston than in Texas or Alabama, I'd agreee but it's not going to be easy with these facts.

    2 to tango (none / 0) (#3)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 08:22:59 AM EST
    Tamerlan was the leader, Jahar the follower. But for Tamerlan, these bombings would never have happened.

    Would these bombings have happened if Tamerlan had not had Jahar to help him carry it out.

    Take Jahar out of the equation and there would have been atleast one less bomb, half the damage, far fewer casualties,...

    But for Jahar, deaths and casualties from these bombings would never have happened.

    Impossible to say (none / 0) (#11)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 11:08:29 AM EST
    If his brother had turned him down, maybe Tamerlan would have found other accomplices that might have egged him on even more, and been more destructive.

    The hateful magazine that published (none / 0) (#15)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 12:27:20 PM EST
    the "plans" made the idea to do this look normal or more normal than despicable or something along those lines.  

    These brothers were encouraged by hateful conversations on social media, by that hate filled magazine, but most importantly by each other.  Tamarlan may have been the lead dog, but little brother didn't say no.  The Nuremburg defense doesn't do it for me.


    The "empty chair" argument (none / 0) (#5)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 09:14:21 AM EST
     is going to be a tough sell here. Obviously, Tamerlan doesn't have anyone trying to downplay his role because he's dead so no one is trying to spare him from the death penalty. Thus, there is no counterweight to the effort to make him the focus.

      It's impossible to say how greatly the dynamic would be changed were he also sitting at the defense table and also being defended, but it is reasonable to posit his absence benefits Dzhokhar. Enough benefit that the jury will decide not to impose the death penalty?

      Frankly, the facts of this case are so extreme that being the unchallenged second fiddle is  a thin reed upon which to support a defense. Is it any more forgivable to play a secondary (but substantial) role in plotting and carrying out the cold blooded murder of innocents? We can argue that voting against the death penalty does not imply "forgiveness," but to a lot of people that's just semantics.

      Youth, naiveté and a desire to please one's older brother are, in the absence of evidence of underyling mental illness, would be far more persuasive factors in a case involving a spontaneous act  gone horribly awry than in a case involving long and detailed planning in which it is pretty inarguable the defendant had multiple opportunities to disengage right up to the moment the bomb was planted.

      I'm not criticizing the defense in any way. The government was not willing to accept a plea to LWOP and the defense being offered appears to be the only one available, but it can take more than a skilled and committed effort to sell a weak defense.

       Predicting what juries will do is a hit or miss proposition even in cases in which one is involved and much more so when relying on media accounts, but I will say that if the jury votes against death here, it will be Ms. Clarke's most difficult "victory."

    fwiw (none / 0) (#6)
    by CST on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 09:48:29 AM EST
    A significant majority of Bostonians oppose the death penalty in this case.  I'd actually be surprised if the jury votes for death.

    And while I'm sure that many (if not most) of those are personally opposed to the death penalty, I don't doubt that there is some % of the population who would rule against death because it feels like the easy way out, especially considering his youth.  I know it's certainly something I've heard.


    My son and his wife were there that day. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by itscookin on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 03:49:34 PM EST
    Fortunately, they were not among the injured although they were close by. It was one of the longest days of my life. I want the punishment to fit the crime, which in this case, I think is life without parole. It's the harsher punishment given his age. Given the loss the injured will have to deal with for the rest of their lives, that he lives with the consequences of his actions for a long, long time seems fitting. I admit I'm looking for revenge, not justice. There is no justice beyond a fair trial in this case. There is no way to make the victims whole again.

    I hear that (none / 0) (#25)
    by CST on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 04:02:58 PM EST
    It's my home too, and a ton of my friends were down there that day like they always are.  I tend to avoid the crowds myself.

    I just want him to go away and never have to think about him again.  It's the only reason I'm pissed about the death penalty is because they could've just locked him up, thrown out the key, and spared the rest of us.


    What is Allowable in the Penalty Phase? (none / 0) (#10)
    by RickyJim on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 10:44:32 AM EST
    Which of these can be discussed in court?

    1. Deterrence effect of death penalty.
    2. Expense to public of LWOP versus DP.
    3. Previous history of penalties given for terrorist acts.
    4. How US foreign policy causes terrorism.

    US Foreign Policy Is Terrorism (none / 0) (#12)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 11:43:57 AM EST
    I Am Going to Go Out on a Limb... (none / 0) (#13)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 11:57:41 AM EST
    ...and say 'How US foreign policy causes terrorism' is out without a doubt.  Even if it wasn't I highly doubt any lawyer is going to blame America for their clients actions if the goal is not get the DP.

    I am pretty sure the others are out as well, and like above, seriously dude, you think the way to save his life is through statistics that will most likely offend some of the jurors ?


    Jury recessed for the day (none / 0) (#16)
    by Peter G on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 05:07:23 PM EST
    after 7 hours of deliberations without a verdict.  They passed up two questions (not publicly disclosed yet) that will be addressed by the judge in the morning, following consultation with counsel for both sides. That all sounds to me like the defense has made an impression.

    Masha Gessen Podcast (none / 0) (#17)
    by RickyJim on Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 09:01:10 PM EST
    Masha has been attending the trial and gives her impressions.
    Her book "The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy", on the background of the case, came out today.

    Guilty on 1-4 (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 01:15:56 PM EST
    at least one death penalty count.

    More to come (none / 0) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 01:17:17 PM EST
    Currently up to 14 (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 01:24:34 PM EST
    guilty counts

    Clean sweep (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 01:36:18 PM EST
    guilty on 30 of 30 counts

    Verdict in - Guilty (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 01:17:30 PM EST

    I live just North of Boston (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Amiss on Wed Apr 08, 2015 at 03:50:39 PM EST
    I feel the only reason they will not give him the death penalty is the fact they do not want him to go down as a martyr, period. Karen Brassard, a spokesperson for the survivors group, would not give their feelings on it. Liz Norton for death penalty.His attorney got Susan Smith free of death penalty. Penalty phase begins Monday.