Denying The Obvious: Boston Bar’s Aid for Tsarnaev the Terroist

DSC_0541According to news reports last week  the Boston Bar Association (BBA) has come out against the federal death penalty. The BBA has had a long history of over 40 years of opposition to the death penalty in Massachusetts but the recent report was the first time it addressed the federal death penalty. One may inquire what prompted this new study of an old topic. In addition, one might ask why if it had never done so in its 250 year history it has suddenly decided to include in its report the federal death penalty.

Paul T. Dacier, elected to be president of the BBA in September, 2013, had ordered this review of the organization’s stance on the death penalty upon taking office. He included in it a request to determine whether the BBA should speak out against federal capital punishment. Dacier, the in-house counsel for EMC, made his request within five months of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Dacier’s view is that “without equivocation, the death penalty has no place in the fair administration of justice and makes no sense on a practical level. Regardless of how heinous the crime, we stand strong against the death penalty in federal and state cases.”

Yet, my great difficulty with Dacier’s BBA report is his attempt to suggest that it does not related to Dzhokhar’s case. Nothing recently had happened (except Dzhokhar’s actions) to make the BBA need to review its position.

I was not alone in this. Judging from his questions to Dacier, David E. Frank of the Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly made the assumption that the only reason for bringing out the report at this time related to the Marathon Terrorist Attack.  He interviewed Dacier about this on January 7, 2014.

Dacier said he came on board as president with the idea of having this review as one of his priorities. He said: “we, of course, are aware of what happened on the day of the bombing . .. but we did not start to review the policy of our opposition to the death penalty as a direct result of what happened on that day. We do feel that our policies ,. . . should be looked at from time to time and notwithstanding what happened it was a matter that  among others we were looking at and again I felt when I became president this was an issue that should be looked at.”

I find Dacier’s answer a little hard to swallow. I can’t accept it is just a coincidence. Dacier knew of the terrorist attack, he knew Dzhokhar may face the federal death penalty, there was a long-standing bed rock policy of the BBA to oppose the death penalty in the state, no need to review that or as Dacier said to “looked at” it, so why was it done if not to assist Dzhokhar? Why also was it done in such a way that the report came out at the time that the Attorney General Eric Holder was deciding whether Dzhokhar should face the same type of punishment he is charged with bringing about for three innocent people?

I’ve predicted there will be a ground swell of support of Dzhokhar. This act by the BBA is indicative of that. It seemed to me that the timing was just too coincidental for this age-old question to have come up at this time as Dacier would have us believe.

My sense is that Eric Holder will come out in opposition to the death penalty as hoped for by the BBA. But that will be a dreadful precedent. We must have a bedrock position that acts of terrorism on American soil which murder Americans will result in the terrorist facing the death penalty

I’ll never understand Dacier trying to hide that its action did not relate to the Dzhokhar case. If Dacier wants the BBA to do something positive, why not address the larger issue which is the United States’s execution of people on an almost daily basis without benefit of trial. Dacier should ask the BBA to address the drone killings by America of people with similar views as the terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, people who never have a chance to defend themselves. None of those people have murdered Americans but are being preemptively killed because we think they might be planning to do this. Whereas Dzhokhar is indicted for killing Americans and others on American soil. It seems to me that if we use drones to kill people who seek to commit terrorist acts against people on American soil, we should have not trouble having a person who actually is accused of committing such an act face the death penalty.

Further, where does the BBA stand on the overall policy of the U.S toward people who commit terrorist acts. There are ongoing trials at Guantanamo Bay where the federal government is seeking the death penalty against those who assisted in the planning of the 9/11 attacks. Does the BBA’s position on those cases mirror Dacier’s statement: “Regardless of how heinous the crime, we stand strong against the death penalty in federal” matters. 

I believe Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should have been treated like a terrorist and quickly taken to Guantanamo. Sadly, Obama and Holder didn’t see it my way. Now let us hope that the BBA and others who don’t understand that the prospect of the death penalty prevents trials such as Tsarnaev’s from turning into three-ring circuses aren’t able to have their naiveté compounded by the Administration’s failure to treat him as the terrorist he is alleged to be.



22 thoughts on “Denying The Obvious: Boston Bar’s Aid for Tsarnaev the Terroist

  1. Monday, 20 January 2014
    Did Tamerlane Tsarnaev Contact Jihadists near Sochi Olympic Site?

    Massachusetts Congressman William Keating (D- MA) was interviewed today prior to a visit to Sochi Tuesday to check out security arrangements there with the start of the Winter Olympics, just two weeks away on February 7th. Russia has spent more than $50 Billion dollars on the Sochi Winter Olympics and virtually cordoned off the city and surrounding region deploying more than 40,000 security personnel. The main alpine events at the Sochi Olympics will be held 70 kilometers distant in the resort areas of Krasnaya Polyana and Rosa Khutor. Some of the Olympics events will take place in the neighboring Caucasus Mountain range. Russia is still reeling from last month’s deadly suicide bombings by Chechen “Black Widows” in Volgograd that killed 34. Volgograd is located 700 miles from Sochi. 2014 marks the 10th anniversary in September of the deadly Beslan School massacres in North Ossetia perpetrated by Chechen Jihadists.

    1. Henry:

      Keating has suggested that there is evidence from the Russians that Tamerlan did have some connections with the terrorists in his 2012 visit toe Russia and the North Caucasus but whether he did or not is probably irrelevant to whether there will be terrorism at the Olympics. The horror of the Tamerlan situation is the FBI did get a tip from the Russians in 2011 of his potential for becoming dangerous that it allegedly followed up on and then for some strange reason let go off. (The FBI gets few such tips in Boston.) Then in 2012 he’s off in Russia and the FBI remains oblivious. Obviously the FBI dropped the ball but no one seems to want to remember that or that it first denied ever having contact with him. But I’m sure that if there is terrorism in Sochi it will have nothing to do with Tamerlan.

    1. Henry:

      Yes, I saw that. In America it is assumed you speak English; it is also assumed that you quickly jump to the command of the cops, and if you dare not, even if you have no idea what the command is, then you suffer the consequences. Age does not matter to a billy stick.

  2. Was Danny lying? Hmm, let’s see. Taking into account that most the things that make us so sure about the brothers guilt comes from him we have to find him a credible witness. Apart from his remaining anonymity despite being regarded as a “hero” and being a startup entrepreneur (he would have gotten VC funding in the blink of an eye had he identified himself). The OFFICIAL documents (not MSM) state that Danny first said the man with the gun ( presumably Tamerlan) forced him to drive to another place to pick up a second man and then he was able to escape after BOTH men got out of the car to buy snacks (supported by the gas station pic of the brothers so casually buying red bull and Doritos) THEN so conveniently the story changes on the official documents now Dzhokhar is driving behind Danny when he is carjacked and Danny escapes while Tamerlan was in the car…? So two very different versions and they both made it to the court docs. How credible is this Danny witness? That’s a question you must ask yourself. And what are the odds that a roberry was conducted in close proximity to Collier yet the police scanners identify different suspects than the brothers and even YET law enforcement start drilling it into people’s heads that the brothers committed the murder within minutes of the crime (without any actual proof) it was reported as fact. How were they so sure? When they had to provide a reason for Colliers murder they say “they probably needed another gun” yet they found the gun off Colliers body…these aren’t “conspiracy” theories these are just things that can’t be overlooked in a court of law. They evade commons sense yet people are comfortable with it.

    1. December:

      Backtrack a bit. Whose car was hijacked? (Answer: Danny’s) Who hijacked his car. (Answer: Tamerlan and Dejokhar). Whose car was involved in the shootout with the cops? (Answer: Danny’s) Who was killed in the shootout? (Answer: Tamerlan) Whose car drove away from the shootout? (Answer: Danny’s) Whose car was found abandonned. (Answer: Danny’s) Who was found nearby hiding in a boat. (Answer: Dejokhar) Forget the robbery and all the other bull that you seem to sling, stick to the car. How is it Tamerlan and Dejokhar are in Danny’s car?

      1. Doubting:

        When I prosecuted cases I always said a little prayer that people like December weren’t on my juries. The problem is when you look at them and their background they appear perfectly normal but they have a capacity to stray from the substance and look for the irrelevant especially if they feel some sort of emotional tug from the subject of inquiry.

  3. I was only sad because I thought this was a better column than it has turned out to be. There is plenty of mud slinging and hate mongering in the media that rolls off my back because it is so easy to dismiss. I don’t think any of you have taken much time to even lift the top layer off the mainstream media’s account of this case. If you did, you’d be bound to see how contradictory the accounts are. Take for just one example out of many, the story that we were first told about how the Tsarnaevs encountered Officer Collier outside of a 7/11 convenience store that they had just robbed, while he was responding to a disturbance. The 7/11 story might have been taken as gospel but for the regional manager of 7/11 contacting the press to tell them it was definitely not one of her stores where that surveillance photo was taken. Then we found out that Officer Collier was found in or near his own patrol car, and not anywhere near the store. Also there is police scanner audio and a wanted alert poster of a man wearing a bucket hat and brandishing a gun at a nearby convenience store during the same time period. Office Collier was killed at about 10:30-10:45 p.m. The chief of Watertown P.D. speculated that the killers had tried to steal the gun, but were unable to because it was a locking holster. The gun was not found on his body, but at some distance away. The killer would have had to wrest the holster off the body of the dead or dying officer. “Danny” was hijacked at around 11, the surveillance photo of Dzhokhar at the atm was taken at 11:15. There were no blood stains apparent on either of the surveillance photos, and “Danny” who remembered so many minor details, never said one word about seeing blood on the brothers’s clothing. Doesn’t any of this suggest reasonable doubt? Or is it unnecessary to concern yourselves about pesky details like the constitutional right to due process in a court of law “in this post 9/11 world”? I believe it was President George Bush who stated that if we give up our way of life because of fear of terrorism, the terrorists have won. It is frightening how educated people like you casually toss out all the constitutional principles that made this country free and a beacon to the world. This is what is making us weak, and throwing all the Muslims into Guantanamo isn’t going to make us strong again.

    1. Barb- 2 counterpoints don’t equal reasonable doubt, Pesky details are usually conspiracy theories that distort the truth.

      1. The TITLE says it all….. colorblind…OR…DENYING THE EVIDENCE?

        “In the Boston case, an intelligence bulletin issued to law enforcement includes a picture of a mangled pressure cooker and a torn BLACK bag that the FBI said were part of a bomb that exploded during the marathon.”

        Photo evidence provided by FBI …. Jahar’s backpack was WHITE.

        THAT should have been the end of it. No further questions.

    2. Barbara:
      Surely you jest. Or, perhaps you think Danny never existed. Danny says Tamerlan stuck a gun in his face and took over control of his car at 11:00 pm. He told him he did the marathon bombing and killed a Cambridge cop. Is Danny lying? Was Tamerlan just kidding?
      90 minutes they drive around talking. Dzhokhar in the back seat. They stop at a Shell Station. Danny escapes and calls the cops. The cops chase Danny’s car and end up in a gunfight with Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, the latter fleeing until later found hiding in a boat.
      Where’s the contradiction? Who cares about the 7/11 or other minor inconsistencies. Danny’s car tells the story: the carjacking, the conversation, and the capture all revolve around it. How do you explain any of that? Those aren’t pesky details they are solid facts.
      Stop burying your head in the trivia. Explain to me about the Mercedes ML 350 that was carjacked. Or did that never happen? Did the Tsarnaevs carjack that car? Was that the car that was involved in the shoot out? It seems to me if you answer the last two questions yes then you can take all the other little matters you refer to and throw them out the window.

      As far as putting Muslims into Guantanamo, I’ve never even hinted at that but it seems it is the typical response one gets from those who don’t want to face facts. I’ll repeat: anyone who commits an act of terror on American soil which murders Americans belongs in Guantanamo. Our constitution allows us to try war time criminals in front of military courts.

      One final thing: are you really suggesting Dzhokhar was not involved?

    3. Barb- What was joker doing in the boat, playing romper room with fingerpaint? The many examples of factual evidence that you have to concede are overwhelming. Thank God for The Eye in the sky, because many people still don’t believe it with visual proof. People are stubborn, until one of their own loved ones get put into collateral damage bracket.

  4. It is so very sad to read this from you. While I couldn’t agree more that we should “address the larger issue which is the United States’s execution of people on an almost daily basis without benefit of trial”, you have condemned Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by publicly calling him “terrorist” without giving him the benefit of a trial. What’s the purpose of a trial but to see the facts presented from both sides before we make a judgment that could put the man in the death chamber or underground in a Supermax prison for the very long remainder of his life? Do you know it all so well from what you read in the newspaper? Most leaks come from unnamed officials and government sources, and are often proved inaccurate, while the prisoner and his lawyers are gagged to the outside world. Can that situation give anyone a balanced picture with which to hold such certainty in the man’s guilt?

    1. barb- When you go on a murder mayhem mission like that, what do you expect? You are making it sound as if their is a chance he was not even involved. I think Matt referred to him as an “alleged” terrorist. It was a bloody manhunt with acts of war going on in a city where there was police being killed and shot at, civilians being carjacked, On 9/11 no less, If that is not terrorism, I don’t know what is. The Death Penalty is a legit option for the actions that were committed.

    2. Barbara:

      Sorry that I made you sad. Cheer up. We’re debating issues so make you points but don’t become sad if others don’t agree with you. If you notice I refer to Joker as the “terrorist he is alleged to be.” What I’ve suggested is that if someone is indicted as a terrorist and the act the person supposedly committed should result in the person being taken to the place where we house terrorists, Guantanamo Bay. I also suggest that anyone charged with that act should face the death penalty. I did’t say he should be executed, that is up to a jury. But if he is convicted of doing the act then I’d have no problem if a jury ordered him executed.
      I agree with you about leaks, and trials (although I’d give a terrorist a military trial as long as we are in war against them)
      I’m sure the defense lawyers will have plenty of opportunity to speak. As to my opinion on the man’s guilt, it seems from the evidence I have seen there is little to doubt that the man in the boat was the man who was fleeing the police after the hijacking of a car and the execution of a campus police officer and he was fleeing because he was identified as the person who set off the bomb along with his brother and that his friends from school took incriminating matters from his room and tried to dispose of them. Seems like a pretty strong case nevermind the note he wrote in the boat with his blood. Believe what you want, I can’t change that. I just happen to disagree.

    1. Louie:

      Thanks for providing that information. I missed it. Perhaps the film maker can use his influence to get Whitey a three day pass to fly from Tuscon to Salt Lake City to swing over to Sundance to critique the movie. I’ll have to get to see it since the guy seems to have zeroed in on the big problem which is the top echelon informant program but I douby he’ll understand how to hide it the FBI made Connolly into a victim. I wish I had a chance to talk to the guy.

  5. Matt- When these drones are destroying the intended terrorist targets, are they also killing legit law abiding citizens and children? I believe the term is collateral damage, If so, aren’t those that have had to live with these terrorists who invade their communities and set up shop in them, being treated with indifference and as collateral damage? Why does this terrorist Tsarnaev get a second thought?

    1. Doubting:
      The drones have killed many so-called collateral damage most recently destroying a wedding party traveling in Somalia under the belief it was a terrorist group. Lots of women and children in Somalia and Pakistan have been murdered by guys sitting in Omaha, Nebraska. Joker is getting much more consideration for killing Americans than those in Somalia or Afghanistan who at best are only thinking of killing Americans and probably have no idea where America is. I don’t understand how we can execute people in far off lands yet fear executing someone who has actually committed a terrorist act in our own land.

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