Tag: Boston Marathon bombing
Stephen Silva, the long time friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was sentenced in federal court this week to time served for his possession of a weapon with a partially obliterated serial number and distribution of heroin. (History and details here.)
Why the break? He cooperated and testified at Tsarnaev's trial that he loaned Tsarnaev a Ruger P95 9mm pistol. He said Tsarnaev had told him it would be used to rob students who attended the University of Rhode Island. The gun was used after the Marathon bombing to kill MIT officer Sean Collier. (Tamerlan is alleged to have used the gun days later in the Watertown shootout. An officer testified Tamerlan threw it at him when he ran out of bullets.)
Last night while rummaging around the Internet, I found the transcript of Silva's testimony here. Not surprisingly, it contains many details I don't recall the media reporting when covering his testimony or sentencing. The sentencing pleadings by both sides contain even more details. Recap below: [More...]
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Here is the full text of Dzhokhar's statement at his death penalty trial.
THE DEFENDANT : Thank you, your Honor, for giving me an opportunity to speak. I would like to begin in the name of Allah, the exalted and glorious, the most gracious, the most merciful, "Allah" among the most beautiful names. Any act that does not begin in the name of God is separate from goodness.This is the blessed month of Ramadan, and it is the month of mercy from Allah to his creation, a month to ask forgiveness of Allah and of his creation, a month to express gratitude to Allah and to his creation. It's the month of reconciliation, a month of patience, a month during which hearts change. Indeed, a month of many blessings.
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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev spoke for about 4 minutes. He expressed remorse. "I would like to now apologize to the victims and to the survivors." ..."I am sorry for the lives I have taken....for the suffering I have caused and the terrible damage I have done."
He left no doubt about his guilt:
"I am guilty of the bombing, let there be no lingering question about that."
He thanked his attorneys and said "I cherish their company." He said they have done a lot for his family. His defense attorney, Judy Clarke, told the Court he had tried to settle the case before trial. [More...]
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Robel Phillipos was sentenced to three years in prison today for his false statements to the FBI after the Boston Marathon bombings. He was ordered to pay a $25,000. fine and spend 1 to 3 years on supervised release after release from prison. He was also ordered to take random drug tests and undergo drug treatment. The judge said, "There’s a price to be paid for the failure of responsibility. There’s a price to be paid to the community."
The Judge granted him a voluntary surrender and did not order him into custody today.
The government had requested Phillipos serve 63 months in prison. My live blog of the hearing (taken from numerous accounts of reporters in the courtroom posted on Twitter -- Hashtag #Phillipos -- as well as my thoughts on why this is too harsh a sentence are below. [More...]
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The federal judge presiding over the cases of three friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnav sentenced Azamat Tazhayakov to 42 months (3 1/2 years) in prison today. He has already served 26 months. With good time (54 days a month after the first year) he should be done in a year or less, at which time he will be deported to Kazakhstan.
The Government had asked for four years. His lawyers asked for time served (26 months.) His guidelines, due to the terror enhancement, were 360 to life. As with Dias, the judge disregarded the enhancement since their obstruction did not involve terrorist acts. [More...]
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Dias Kadyrbayev, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's friend who removed his computer and backpack from his dorm room was sentenced to six years in prison today for his guilty pleas to obstructing the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing.
The plea agreement called for a sentence of up to 7 years. All sides agreed the sentencing guidelines' terrorism enhancement, applicable to the obstruction charges, was too harsh. The judge said "This guideline doesn't serve the purposes of sentencing." [More...]
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The jury has returned a sentence of death for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Counts 4,5,9,10,14, and 15. See Jim Armstrong on Twitter for each finding.
The counts on which the jury voted for death pertain solely to Lingzi Lu and Martin Richard. The jury did not return death verdicts on counts with Officer Sean Collier or Krystle Campbell.
On the mitigating factors:
- Only 3 jurors agreed he would not have committed the offense but for Tamerlan.
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There are 21 mitigating factors the jury must consider, but they are not limited to those factors. Each juror can come up with additional mitigating factors on his or her own and assign whatever weight to the factors he or she deems appropiate. [More...]
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Judy Clarke is about to deliver her closing argument in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I'm following Reporter Jim Armstrong on Twitter. Worth mentioning: As Clarke goes through the mitigating factors, keep in mind they do not have to relate to the commission of the offense. [More...]
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Both sides rested their case today in the Dzhokar Tsarnaev trial. Closing arguments and deliberations begin Wednesday.
The defense ended its case with the testimony of Sister Helen Prejean. She testified she met with Tsarnaev five times over the past year and he expressed remorse.
"He said it emphatically. He said no one deserves to suffer like they did," said Prejean, the public face of the New Orleans-based Ministry Against the Death Penalty and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. "I had every reason to think that he was taking it in and that he was genuinely sorry for what he did."
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Yesterday and today, the defense in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial presented evidence about life at Supermax in Florence, CO.
Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sought Wednesday to convince jurors in the death-penalty case that Tsarnaev could end up in the country’s most secure federal prison, locked in a cell 23 hours a day, with limited communication with the outside world — if the jury votes for a life sentence.
...Under those conditions, Tsarnaev would be limited to two 15-minute telephone conversations with only immediate family members each month, his mail would be screened, and he would be confined to a single-inmate cell.
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The Government reached a new low in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial this week, in my opinion. At a hearing outside the presence of the jury, AUSA William Weinreib complained about the security costs and FBI time spent ensuring the safety of five of Tsarnaev's relatives who traveled here from Russia to testify for him. They threatened to the FBI will take them back to Russia if the defense doesn't call them by Friday.
“It’s an enormous expense and distraction for the agency, and that’s just part of the expense that the government has endured,” federal prosecutor William Weinreb said during a closed-door meeting Monday with the defense and Judge George O’Toole, according to transcripts shown on the court's public terminal.
The Sixth Amendment compulsory process clause guarantees defendants the right to have witnesses brought to trial to testify for the defense: [More...]
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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's defense team began making the case for life instead of death today. From David Bruck's opening statement: (Taken from WBZ reporter Jim Armstrong's live tweets in court.) [More...]
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Here's the 36 second video of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that was played to the jury. I don't see any anger, just boredom. Who wouldn't be bored sitting alone in a holding cell all day?
What a big to-do about nothing. The reporter who said his face showed huge anger should cover something other than criminal trials.
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The family of Martin Richards, the youngest victim killed in the Boston Marathon bombings, has written a public request asking the Government to withdraw its request for the death penalty.
"We understand all too well the heinousness and brutality of the crimes committed. We were there. We lived it.... "The defendant murdered our 8-year-old son, maimed our 7-year-old daughter, and stole part of our soul. We know that the government has its reasons for seeking the death penalty, but the continued pursuit of that punishment could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives."
The Richards want Tsarnaev to accept a sentence of life without parole and waive his right to future appeals.
AUSA Carmen Ortiz responded with a non-answer.
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