Jahar, Tamerlan, Bella, Anzor, Ailina, circa 2002
by Cheryl Dean
Many families around the world have had new anxiety come into their lives by the United States “temporary” ban on travelers from certain countries. The Tsarnaev family is no exception. Dzhokhar (Jahar) who is currently on Death Row has had only the rarest of visits in the time since the April 2013 Marathon bombing.
Many relatives were prevented from visiting him (that is surely unconstitutional as well as inhumane) but his sisters managed three visits. Ailina and Bella live in the US. I’m sure they would like to see their parents in Russia, but if they leave the US, they would fear they might not be able to return — and this would leave the prisoner completely alone.
Consider that this family has already lost its dear Tamerlan. Many of us are certain that he was killed in FBI custody. Luckily his parents don’t have to watch the horrible movie Patriot’s Day, which presents both boys in the most unfair manner possible.
I was happy that Trump was elected. I really thought he would do good things for the American people (I am Canadian), but I don’t feel that way any more. He seem to me to be as cruel as all those before him. Mercy and compassion are perhaps unknown to him.
Update on the Legal To’ing and Fro’ing
The trial of Dzhokhar (Jahar) Tsarnaev was finished on May 9, 2015 (except for the official theatrical sentencing day on June 24, 2015). You may be surprised to hear that his appellate lawyers are still unable to obtain a complete set of court documents from the case. That’s 21 months!
Soon it will be 2 years after the trial ended! No wonder appeals take so long. Maybe this is a telling sign that they need to try trying stalling in every possible way. The case was so unjust, the Powers That Be must withhold and sabotage as long as possible.
Gail Johnson and David Patton, Dzhokhar’s appellate lawyers, have now filed a second motion asking for a further delay of 60 days. Their first motion asked for a 120-day delay.
Judy Clarke has remained on the case to ensure a “smooth transition” for the new defense. She supposedly will remain until a new “learned counsel” in the death penalty can be substituted.
I highly doubt that Judy-it was him-Clarke is the only death penalty lawyer in the US. More likely she is considered the only one who is willing to ensure the desired government outcome regarding Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Some recent court documents are quite revealing. Seventeen of the requested 20 sealed orders that were issued ex parte to the defense, have been located and a copy should be provided.
The remaining 3 orders were issued under seal to both parties, yet neither party (defense or prosecution) have been able to locate a copy!! This is very convenient for those who have much to hide.
DOC 1706, which was recently released to the public states:
“Defendant Appellant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, by and through counsel, and pursuant to the Fifth and Sixth amendments to the United States Constitution respectfully moves this court to provide a copy of the following sealed Orders, so that this counsel may compile and review a full record on appeal. A complete and accurate record, essential in any appeal, is especially crucial in a capital case as a critical ‘safeguard against arbitrariness and caprice’.” [Emphasis added]
Dzhokhar’s new lawyers, Gail Johnson and David Patton, state that they have worked diligently for hundreds of hours trying to compile a complete record of the case, but still it’s not complete.
You would think that the prior defense would have a complete record, so why don’t they? Five lawyers being paid for over 2 years – and numerous assistants — yet they can’t keep complete organized records. And remember Judy is still there, but she can’t find them.
There are still 139 docket entry numbers that are not on PACER.gov – the website from which the public can purchase transcripts of the case. Why not?
There are still 600 documents under seal!!! WHY??
The Marathon bombing is so public it has a movie about it. Are there secrets? Don’t his current lawyers have every right to see the documents?
There are also 27 government ex parte filings in the US District Court in Boston, but the new defense has no idea of the nature of those. These were initiated by the prosecution, who are not willing to disclose all of them.
The prosecution said in November, 2016 that it would offer 17 to 20 of them to the defense, but so far they have not provided any of them. The prosecution says it will resist disclosing the 7 other documents on appeal.
Is this standard corruption and dirty tactics? The relevant material is being kept not only from the public, but from Dzhokhar’s lawyers. It’s hard to defend someone, if you don’t have all the evidence you need to do so.
The new defense asked for a copy of government trial exhibit #722-A, but the government personnel say they do not have a copy of it!! I’ll bet it was something that was shown to the jurors but to no one else, which happened more than once in that trial.
How do I know this? We know that “exhibits” were shown to only the jury, or only the witness, etc, because it states this in the court transcripts. Also, there were hundreds of tweets about this during the trial from journalists, such as Bruce Gellerman and Laurel J Sweet.
Example: the autopsy photos of the dead were only shown to the jurors, no one else. Those photos could have been of anyone, or no one.
UPDATE: As of January 31, 2017 Judy Clarke is off the case!!! My reaction is the same as when prosecutor Carmen Ortiz resigned a few weeks ago: Good riddance!
The defense lawyer replacing Judy Clarke is Clifford Gardner, also from San Francisco. Unfortunately he and Judy are friends, so I don’t hold much hope for a proper outcome for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, age 23.
May God help him.
— Cheryl Dean collaborates with Josée Lépine in indexing and inspecting all the released documents from US District Court for [M]assachusetts.