It’s obvious that most people in Boston who have the ability to get up and out of the house, who have reached the age of consent (usually somewhere between 16 and 18), and have lived in the area since that dastardly day of April 15, 2013, believe the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is guilty as sin. It almost seems unnecessary to even say that. Any of the people in that group just mentioned who is called for jury duty and expresses an opinion otherwise or says they can decide the case on the evidence presented in court and not on what they’ve been reading and hearing for almost two years is pulling a big con on either the judge or himself or herself.
If there are others in the group who have not heard of the Marathon Terrorist Attack or Tsarnaev then that in and of itself should disqualify them from jury duty. It wasn’t that this was a run of the mill shoot ‘em up crime. It terrorized the city. It terrorized the city, state and federal officials to such an extent that they advised everyone to “shelter in.” It frightened law enforcement so much that teams of ten to twelve cops armed like the Yankee Division going into combat traipsed up and down the stairs of people who wondered what ever happened to the idea that one’s home is his castle which is not to be invaded other than according to standards established by the 4th Amendment.
It wasn’t just the explosion on Boylston Street that made a noise heard around the Commonwealth, it was the ongoing newscasts that had most warm-blooded people mesmerized. Then the hourly reports about the people who were injured and the influx of every conceivable federal and state investigator flooding the city trying to figure out the identity of the culprits; add to that the ongoing press conferences where all the politicians who knew nothing of what was occurring crowded onto the podium to issue platitudes and interfere with the investigation. Then it was announced that the culprits had been arrested and were being taken to federal court in Boston. Reporters each trying to push the other down the publicity ladder swore they had many sources telling us that was happening. They swarmed the courthouse and helicopters circled overhead. Only it just wasn’t so. Nevertheless the reporters continued to rely on the sources of false information to give us additional misinformation.
The good work of law enforcement including the FBI figured out who did it. It was those two guys with the back packs who were seen walking around the corner over and over again on every television broadcast and internet news show. Law enforcement sought out public help in identifying them when some in the FBI itself should have been able to do that because it would turn out the older br0ther, Tamerlan, had been investigated by the FBI previously. To its great discredit it told no other law enforcement people.
The Tsarnaev brothers seeing themselves identified took it on the lam. They are alleged to have murdered a young MIT cop and hijacked a Mercedes whose driver fled when they stopped at a gas station. He has identified them. He called the cops and the chase was on; Tamerlan was killed during the ensuing police chase; Dzhokhar was captured in a boat writing out his boast in his blood.
For most it isn’t a case of reasonable doubt but of absolute certainty that he planted the bombs that killed three innocent parade watchers and maimed hundreds of others in the horror. The only real issue is whether he should be executed and reasonable people can disagree over that. But on the question of guilt, it would seem the only people who might have questions about it are those who think Seattle won the Super Bowl.
The trial judge wrongly thinks in this atmosphere and town Tsarnaev can get a fair trial. He’ll probably be able to get enough dopes or dissemblers to assemble a jury so that he doesn’t have to be inconvenienced by going to another venue. The defense lawyers have gone to the Court of Appeals saying the judge can’t be seriously planning to hold the case here. The Court of Appeals disagreed saying that the judge should have no problem finding a jury that is on the level. The defense lawyers are back again saying this is ridiculous, everyone around here wants to hang the guy. The same judges who said once “that’s tough,” are going to hear the lawyers again. Unless they wake up and stop rubber stamping lower court decisions they will come back with the same “that’s tough, suck-it-up” decision.
I have one simple question for them. On April 20th this year in the middle of the trial the Boston Marathon will be run again. It will end in the City of Boston. How will the trial judge keep those jurors from not being impacted by that event? Only in some kind of Wonderland would he be able to do it. Think of the marathon; you have to think of the bombing; you have to think of the people who died; you have to think of the people who did it. You can bet every runner will be aware of it; we can only hope some nutcake doesn’t pull a copy cat act.
If any case ever called for a change of location it is this case. Here is the conundrum facing the attorneys. If the Court of Appeals decides it is OK to have the trial in Boston; and if it goes ahead and Dzhokhar is convicted; then when they appeal the case arguing there was no way they received a fair trial because of the publicity, the Court of Appeals already having decided against them will have to do the same thing so that they won’t be second guessing themselves and saying they were wrong. As you know, judges don’t like to admit error. That in itself is enough to move the case.