At the outset, Defense Attorney David Bruck stated the defense wanted to investigate the possible Tsarnaev family connections to the FBI, and whether Tamerlan was recruited by the FBI or other agencies. Every subsequent, honest, straight up - boy scout Defense request for access to files on Tamerlan’s travel to Russia in 2010 and 2012, Tsarnaev family members, Ibraghim Todashev, the Waltham Three murders, Watertown police reports, the Tsarnaev brothers’ computers and hard drives files, Dzhokhar’s hospital interrogation and more - have been denied by Judge O’Toole as “irrelevant”…
In other words, Judge O’Toole has de facto ruled the Boston Marathon Bombing occurred in a time warp vacuum without past events leading up to it - nor any events, investigative or otherwise following it. In this, the Judge seems to be of the same mind as former Boston FBI S.A. R. DesLauriers, who emphasized the significance of ‘a particular moment in time’ on a certain unreleased video, while disregarding the placement of a black bag. Reminiscent too, of R. DesLaurier’s “Thou shalt only look at the pictures and evidence of the bombing provided by the FBI.”Well, to most observers this clamp down on discoverable evidence, along with the fraudulently conceived SAMS, and the murder, harassment and deportation of all friends, associates and potential witnesses - has meant that the prosecution along with the Judge were hoping for a speedy cave-in on the part of the defense and a plea agreement well before this summer - especially with vacations planned and other personal milestones anticipated.Unfortunately, some now-legendary Chechen stubbornness threw up a roadblock and there will be no quick and easy deal for the Prosecution to gloat over. And imagine the shock to U.S. Attorney C. Ortiz when she realized the Defense team was - “the noive of them” -actually going to take the case to trial! So, given the straightjacket imposed on the defense by Judge O’Toole (unfortunate name) and Ms. Ortiz, the Defense has been forced to resort to surreptitious means to defend their client - all in the name of mitigation. This highly irregular strategy is causing embarrassing “control” issues for the Prosecution. They seem to be permanently on a steady diet of grinding frustration because every move the Defense team makes - yields forth a shrill wail from the prosecution that is most unbecoming of a ‘rumored’ future Governor, Attorney General or other stately title and position.
The Defense has maintained an unyielding poker face throughout the worst moments of the written melee – carefully informing all that the drips and drabs they have squeaked out are reflective of them engaging in mitigation efforts only, but there is just not enough time to put on an adequate defense for their client. They betray nothing of what it is the Prosecution is dancing all around - that they - “the noive of them” Defense is using mitigation to end run C. Ortiz and crew, availing themselves of information and evidence Prosecution and Judge believe is definitely not relevant. (Don’t they already have the criminal locked-away in Devens? What’s the urgency here?)
The recent ‘double cross’ pulled on the Defense team in Russia is yet another example of the Prosecution being two steps behind the Defense at almost every turn – although C. Ortiz and crew still have the big guns at their disposal as the ‘Russian incident’ proved. M. Conrad’s restrained response reflects an admirable blend of professional ethics and good sportsmanship on the part of the Defense. Smearing another professional’s integrity and reputation is one of the unwritten “thou shalt not’s” between attorneys. After all, both parties are presumably only interested in justice - it is after all just another case.
The parties, by and through undersigned counsel, provide the following status report:
Document 563 Filed 09/17/14
Document 559 Filed 09/17/14
Document 564 Filed 09/17/14
BOSTON — A push by Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to move his trial outside Massachusetts has led to a war of words — and paper — between his lawyers and federal prosecutors.
The two sides have filed more than 100 pages of legal briefs vehemently arguing their positions for and against the move. After the defense filed a third brief, including a 40-page affidavit from a second expert, the judge struck it from the court docket, granting a request from prosecutors who said, “Tsarnaev has decided that there should be no limits on his right to litigate it.”
The stakes are huge: Tsarnaev could get the death penalty if convicted.
Prosecutors say Tsarnaev, 21, and his older brother, Tamerlan, 26, placed two homemade bombs near the finish line of the 2013 marathon. The blasts killed three people and injured more than 260.
Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges and faces a November trial. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a gun battle with police several days after the bombings.
In their motion to move the trial out of state, Tsarnaev’s lawyers said a survey of potential jurors showed that nearly 58 percent of Boston respondents who were aware of the case “definitely” believed Tsarnaev was guilty. Thirty-seven percent believed that, if convicted, he deserves the death penalty.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers want to move the trial to Washington, D.C., where the percentage of those who believe he is definitely guilty and deserves the death penalty is much smaller.
Prosecutors insist Tsarnaev can get a fair trial in Boston. They argue that the Eastern Division of Massachusetts — where the jury pool would be drawn from — covers a diverse area with a population of over 5 million.
Attorney David Hoose, who defended a nurse facing the death penalty for killing four patients at a Massachusetts veterans hospital, said it is somewhat surprising that Judge George O’Toole Jr. agreed to strike the third brief filed by Tsarnaev’s lawyers.
"Most judges — especially in capital cases — want to give the defendant every opportunity to be heard," Hoose said. "I think most people understand … that these cases are different from everything else, and it really is not appropriate to insist on rigid compliance with the rules that have the effect of limiting what you want to say."
The defense also cites the trial of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, which was moved to Denver. They say the marathon bombing had an even greater emotional impact on the Boston area because of the four-day police search for the Tsarnaevs capped by a dramatic final day when thousands of residents were told to stay in their homes.
"If there’s ever been a case that called for a change of venue in federal court, this is it," said Christopher Dearborn, a professor at Suffolk University Law School.
But others say judges have to set limits.
"Judges need to make decisions. They need to hold to a schedule as long as it’s not compromising the ability to present a defense," said Gerry Leone, a former state and federal prosecutor.
"You can prepare forever, but at some point you have to be given a deadline and a timeline. At some point, the judge just calls it, says, ‘I’ve got what I need. We’ve got to move on and keep the litigation going.’"
"I think most people understand … that these cases are different from everything else, and it really is not appropriate to insist on rigid compliance with the rules that have the effect of limiting what you want to say."
Thank you, Mr. Hoose.
Document 19 Filed 09/10/14
A cooperating witness in a federal case that may involve the gun used by the suspected Boston Marathon bombers was paid more than $66,000 for his assistance, according to court records filed Wednesday.
The witness, whom authorities would not identify to protect his safety, is cooperating in the case of Stephen Silva, a close friend of alleged bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Silva was arraigned last month in federal court in Boston on seven counts of heroin distribution and conspiracy to distribute heroin, and one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
Prosecutors say Silva possessed a Ruger P95 9mm pistol, with a largely defaced serial number, in February 2013.
A gun of that description was recovered in a Watertown neighborhood on the early morning of April 19, 2013, after police exchanged gunfire with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his older brother, who was the other suspected bomber. Police later determined that the gun found in Watertown was the one allegedly used by the Tsarnaevs to shoot and kill MIT officer Sean Collier hours earlier, on the night of April 18.
Silva’s lawyer, Jonathan Shapiro, has told the Globe that federal authorities have said that Silva’s gun charge is related to the Collier shooting.
Shapiro said he could not comment on the court filing Wednesday.
Silva, 21, of Cambridge, has been held without bail. He has not talked to authorities about his case. He was called before “a federal grand jury over a year ago in connection with another matter and invoked his Fifth Amendment rights,” according to the court filing Wednesday.
The US attorney’s office has not said how they have linked Silva to the pistol.
Silva has not been charged with anything related to the Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three people and injured more than 260. He has been described by MBTA police as a “street-level” drug dealer, the lowest rung of any drug-dealing enterprise.
The documents that were filed Wednesday were presented to Shapiro as a preliminary overview of evidence in the case, and they included a history of the confidential witness, who was cooperating in the drug investigation against Silva.
The witness allegedly bought drugs from Silva, and the documents spell out his other work with the FBI.
The witness had at one point been a member of a violent street gang, and a relative of the witness faced federal drug and gun charges at the time the witness began cooperating. The relative, who has also cooperated with the government, has pleaded guilty to those charges and authorities have agreed to note that cooperation to the sentencing judge.
The witness has received approximately $66,000 from the government for the witness’s involvement in the Silva case and other investigations. The total includes payments for services, expenses, and relocation costs, as well as vehicle fines.
At one point, when the witness first began cooperating, he was pulled over for speeding in New Hampshire and had a suspended driver’s license. A state trooper assigned to an FBI task force advised the New Hampshire officer of the witness’s cooperation. Authorities in New Hampshire towed the witness’s car but did not cite him. The FBI task force subsequently helped the witness obtain a license allowing him to drive at certain times.
At one point, the FBI paid an outstanding fine that the witness had with a prior landlord, so that the witness could obtain Section 8 housing.
During the time the witness was cooperating with the FBI, he was arrested for failing to pay a civil fine for child support. A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent called a state Department of Revenue attorney asking for the witness’s release, but the department refused.
The government has also helped the witness and his family relocate, and has indicated it will provide further assistance to ensure the safety of the witness and his family. The government has refused to identify the witness at this time out of fear that it would “put [the witness’s] safety and the safety of its family in jeopardy.”
Doc 518 here
Doc 518 with supplement and exhibits - 80 pages
**Isn’t this exactly the same timing the defense asked for in the very beginning**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.