I’ve got a Twitter account called @Bulgerontrial. I rarely go to it. The other day because of things happening in Ukraine I went there to tweet, if that’s the word, a couple of comments on the #maidan site. While there I saw that David Frank of Mass Lawyer’s Weekly was tweeting from the hearing on the Probation Officer O’Brien case. His site is @davidfrankmlw. He also tweeted the Bulger trial and I found his perspective on the trial to be very good in that he gave a full and frank (no pun intended) view of the case without being biased one way or the other. I’d recommend he be followed if you are interested in the probation case. I plan to do so.
One tweet he posted today read: “Nothing’s happened to change my opinion hat feds will seek death on #tsarnaev. Only q now is when decision will be made public. i/31=dealine.”
I responded to him: “Dave, Hope you are right. However appearance of victim at State of Union may be cover for not doing it.”
When I read this: “Bombing survivors invited to State of the Union” I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. The article noted: “Bauman — the 27-year-old who lost both legs in the attack — and Carlos Arredondo — the 53-year-old wearing a cowboy hat who wheeled him to safety — will be there for the speech.”
As far as Dzhokhar (pronounced Joker) Tsarnaev is concerned there is no reason in the world for him not to face the death penalty. That doesn’t mean he will be executed, it just means a jury will decide whether he deserves to be put to death if he is convicted of setting off the terrorist bombs that murdered three people and maimed hundreds of others.
That means that after the trial if he is convicted of the murders evidence will be presented to the jury that convicted him that will point to reasons why he should not be executed. The issue of guilt will not be considered; only the issue of punishment. Dzhokhar will have a chance to put forth his reasons why the appropriate punishment is not death such as his age, although I’ve noted we have much younger men dying in combat to keep our country free, or his misguided understanding of his religion, or the extraordinary influence his brother had on his actions, or whatever other mitigating reasons he can come up with.
Attorney General Eric Holder should have come to that conclusion a long time ago. We should not have people we call terrorists who murder people by setting off bombs in a crowd not face the death penalty. That seems to be as simple as things can be.
But the gut feeling I got when reading about the invitees is caused by my instinctive distrust of some political acts. I guess I should look up the definition of cynic (“a person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable or unselfish reasons”) since that seems to be my general attitude when it comes to politicians. Especially Obama as you know from my puzzlement of his silence on Ukraine.
There is no doubt that Attorney General Holder has decided this matter. (Dave Frank noted that a document under seal has been filed with the court.) Nor is there any doubt that President Obama knows of his decision and has most likely had input into it since it is unlikely Holder would decide this without consulting him.
Now if the president and attorney general do not have the basic courage and integrity to require a person accused of terrorism and murder face the death penalty they will need some cover. What better way to do it than to bring a couple of victims to the State of the Union speech? Sort of like the actor Bill Clinton biting his lower lip to show faux remorse.
Not having Tsarnaev face the death penalty will be an invitation to a circus and diminished the lives of those killed by terrorism. I know that I should stop being cynical. There’s no way Holder would do otherwise than put the death penalty in play. I guess David Frank must be right.