Hoping to avoid the federal death penalty for 20-year-old surviving Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his defense attorneys asked that all confessions to authorities while hospitalized at Boston’s Deaconess Beth-Israel Hospital get thrown out. Saying 19-year-old University of Massachusetts undergraduate was questioned by the FBI and Boston Police without reading him in Miranada rights, Dzhokhar’s legal team tried to get his confession tossed out. Questioning Dzhokhar while hospitalized with gunshot wounds in critical condition was inadmissible according to his defense attorneys. Authorities cited a public safety exemption from Miranda rights. Federal and local authorities tried to ascertain whether there was any continued terrorist after the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Despite caught on videotape at the crime scene, Dzhokhar’s lawyers want his statements tossed out.
Spotted with his 27-year-old late brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev on surveillance video at the bloody crime scene near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street, the Tsarnaev brother’s guilt is undeniable. “Despite the fact that he quickly allayed concerns about any continuing threat to public safety, repeatedly asked for a lawyer, and begged to rest,” Dzhokhar’s lawyer argued that the government obtained confessions illegally while the then 19-year-old Chechen terrorist recovered from gunshot wounds. Killing three and injuring 260 with two Chechen-style pressure cooker bombs made with deadly shrapnel, the Tsarnaev brothers created mayhem near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Arguing about the Miranda technicality seems to trivialize the horrific nature of the Tsarnaev brothers’ terrorism. His lawyers now seeks any loophole to avoid the death penalty.
Operating under a public safety exception, federal, state and local law enforcement did not have to extend Miranda rights to Dzhokhar. After 26-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier was gunned down by the Tsarnaev brothers April 19, 2013, local, law enforcement knew the ongoing threat was not over. No one at the time knew the extent of the possible terrorist network that placed Boston’s population at risk. “Agents made clear by word and deed that they would not allow him to see a lawyer until they had finished questioning him,” said Dzhokhar’s lawyers. U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. won’t be duped by Dzhokhar’s attorneys, ignoring the public safety exemption, permitting law enforcement to bypass Miranda. If that weren’t enough, Dzhokhar’s attorneys went after the federal death penalty.
Citing recent botched executions using lethal injection, Dzhokhar’s attorneys argued that the current death penalty qualifies under the ban in the U.S. Constitution against cruel and unusual punishment. Raising “worldwide revulsion over the recurring spectacle of botched executions” in Ohio and more recently in Oklahoma, Dzhokhar’s lawyers focused on extraneous matters related to the death penalty already upheld in federal courts. Federal prosecutors argued for special circumstances in bombing a public venue designed to kill and maim as many victims as possible. Plotting the attack at the Boston Marathon should not be an “aggravating factor,” said Tsaranev’s attorneys, refuting federal prosecutors in arguing for the death penalty. Plotting a bombing at a crowded public venue demonstrates a maximum attempt to inflict bodily harm on innocent victims.
Federal prosecutors have every right to pursue the special circumstance of a terrorist attack, targeting innocent civilians to maximize casualties and injuries. “Stated differently, the allegation that Tsarnaev targeted the marathon is simply a more specific statement of the substantial planning allegation,” wrote Dzhokhar’s lawyers to Judge O’Toole. It’s not rocket science to figure out that carefully planned acts of terrorism at soft targets, like public gatherings, qualify as the special circumstance needed to warrant the death penalty. If Dzhokhar’s attorneys wanted to mitigate the potential sentence, they’d be better off arguing his older brother Tamerlan brainwashed him into accepting jihad to stop the U.S.’s desecration of Islam. Arguing that his youth and gullibility left him vulnerable to his more committed older brother would play far better than arguing against terrorist allegations.
When the Tsarnaev brothers decided to plot a terrorist attack at the 2013 Boston Marathon, they deliberately selected one of the most populated soft targets in the United States. Selecting the end of the Boston Marathon route to detonate their bombs, the Tsarnaev brothers committed an egregious act of terrorism on U.S. There can be no more heinous federal crime on which to justify the death penalty. Arguing that the Boston Marathon “can have no other effect than to introduce arbitrariness and unfairness into the jury’s sentencing deliberations,” completely ignores the importance of making terrorism the most heinous special circumstance warranting the death penalty. Federal prosecutors also asked Judge. O’Toole to add the special circumstance of being a recently naturalized citizen as “more deserving of the death penalty,” causing a jury to vote more favorably for the death penalty.