The high-powered legal team for accused terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wants to push back the start of the blockbuster Boston Marathon bombing trial nearly a year, according to a motion filed today in U.S. District Court in Boston.
Throughout the 80-page motion, Tsarnaev’s lawyers argued that their client’s case, set to begin Nov. 3, is being rushed to trial and said the scope of the investigation has “overwhelmed the ability of defense counsel to evaluate and respond to the government’s case in the time allotted.”
"The trial in this case is currently scheduled to begin just 16 months after the defendant was indicted. This 16-month period is one-half the median preparation time that federal courts have allowed defendants on trial for their lives over the past decade and would bring this case to trial faster than 103 of the 119 federal capital trials to get underway since 2004," the motion read.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers asked that the trial begin on or after Sept. 1, 2015, and pointed to the massive amount of evidence gathered during the investigation in their request for additional time to prepare their case.
"The Boston Marathon bombing has been investigated by more than 1,000 FBI and other agents from additional federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies … and by at least five separate committees of the United States Congress," the motion read. "The government has gradually produces some 6.7 terabytes of discovery, including more than 100,000 pages of witness statements, reports, photographs and scientific tests produced in scanned formats; thousands of items of physical evidence; and - perhaps most daunting of all - thousands of gigabytes of digital evidence."
Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police several days after the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombings that killed three and injured 260.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges and is slated to go on trial Nov. 3. If convicted, he could be put to death. His defense team is also pushing to have the trial moved to Washington, D.C., arguing it cannot find an impartial jury in Boston.
"We recognize that the government and many members of the public, especially in the Boston area, may want the trial to begin quickly," the motion read. "But it is critically important that any trial be fair, which means giving both sides, not just the government, enough time to uncover and present all relevant evidence."
The motion now goes before the judge for oral arguments. No date has been set yet for that request.
Doc 344; Motion to File Reply to Govt Opposition to Motion to Suppress Statements 060214
basically Miriam asking for permission to respond to the government’s “yea he was shot, yea he was drugged, yea he was tired but no big deal” document regarding the statements Jahar made at the hospital.
White privilege is posting a manifesto on Youtube and carrying out a mass shooting that causes more deaths than the Boston Marathon bombing and the media doesn’t label you a terrorist.
Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said today they did not want to disclose to prosecutors the arguments they may use to try to convince a federal jury to spare Tsarnaev’s life, if he is convicted.
The defense lawyers urged US District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. to deny a request for disclosure of their arguments filed by federal prosecutors, who are seeking the death penalty for a number of the charges against Tsarnaev.
“The government seeks an advance look at the defendant’s basic arguments for life – essentially, his theory for why he should be allowed to live if convicted,’’ Tsarnaev’s defense team wrote in a filing in US District Court in Boston.
Prosecutors are not entitled to the list of mitigating factors, unless and until a jury has reached its verdict, and only if that verdict calls for the imposition of the death penalty, the defense said.
The defense said it had its own list of the arguments “in order to focus the jury on some of the reasons why a client should be spared execution … but nothing about that practice requires or implies advance disclosure to the government.”
Defense attorneys said Ortiz’s office is asking for the information so it can prepare the questionnaire that prospective jurors will be required to fill out before jury selection. Prosecutors, the defense said, do not need a peek into the defense strategy to decide how to approach the critical issue of jury selection.
“The defense agrees with the government that a meaningful voir dire examination of prospective jurors in death penalty cases must be framed in terms of the case to be tried,’’ the attorneys wrote.
But they added, “the government has no need of such information from the defense to craft its own proposed jury questionnaire. … It already knows what those factors are, or can figure them out easily enough.’’
Tsarnaev, 20, faces multiple charges that carry the possibility of the death penalty if convicted of setting off the April 15, 2013, bombs that killed three people and injured more than 260. He and his older brother and alleged accomplice, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, are also accused of shooting and killing an MIT police officer before attempting to flee the area. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a confrontation with police officers in Watertown.
The decision on whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be executed will be made by a jury during a second, sentencing phase of the trial, if he is convicted.
A month ago, the government argued in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s case it had no discovery obligations under Section 215, which top government officials have said they used to achieve piece of mind.
Yesterday, Dzhokhar’s college buddies challenged their confession based on a claim the government didn’t have a warrant when it surrounded their apartment with 60 cops. The government’s excuse is that Tsarnaev received the bills for four AT&T phones at that address, and one of the phones had recently been used to call Russia.
Tsarnaev was receiving AT&T bills for four phones at that address. One of the phones had called Russia from near the UMass-Dartmouth campus, which led investigators to think he might be nearby – perhaps at his friends’ apartment. “I proceeded with all haste and with blue lights flashing” to where the phones suggested Tsarnaev might be, Walker said.
Soon about 60 officers had the New Bedford home surrounded.
Tsarnaev wasn’t inside, but his two friends were, along with Kadyrbayev’s girlfriend.
What happened next could affect the outcome of the cases against Tsarnaev’s friends. Walker said the FBI had not obtained a search warrant. Agents took the two men from the apartment, handcuffed them and questioned them in unmarked cars, Walker said, before they agreed to go to the State Police barracks for further questioning.
Kadyrbayev’s attorney Robert Stahl said that amounted to “uncounseled, unwarranted seizures of these individuals.” If the FBI violated the defendants’ rights, then their statements, which prosecutors are calling “confessions,” could be excluded from their trials.
This all occurred while Dzhokhar was bleeding out in a boat in Watertown.
There are multiple ways the FBI could have gotten these phone records. They may well have a database of subscriber information for major providers, meaning they could learn which carrier he used quickly within FBI. The could have gotten the call records just with NSLs. (NSA’s phone dragnet wouldn’t be all that useful at that stage, though it might have provided interesting information on the Russia call.) The FBI might even have used Hemisphere, which provides geolocation. (Remember, though, that MA’s Supreme Court just ruled the police need a warrant for cell location.)
The defendants have already received some of Dzhokhar’s texts in discovery, so I assume there are no evidentiary problems with those.
In other words, we should assume this data came from normal FBI sources, not NSA ones. (If so, it’s another strike against the claim the NSA needs the phone dragnet for quickness, because this would have happened quickly if the FBI’s narrative is true.)
But it does raise interesting questions about dual sources for the data at hand.
Also remember, these are the same phones that the same buddies had limited discovery on texts from, because Dhokhar had destroyed the one he was using.
Motion to Suppress Statements