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Let's Talk About Something Else

Last spring, a Jihadist mass killer, Dzohhar Tsarnaev, and his older brother (now deceased after a gun battle with police) planted two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people, including an eight year-old boy, and wounding more than 260 others.  

To my knowledge, no sensate person doubts that Tsarnaev did the deed, did it intentionally out of hatred for the West and America in particular, and was of sound mind (at least to the extent anyone can be of sound mind and still decide to kill complete strangers).

So in a rational world, this should be an easy case, right?  We know we have the right guy, and we know he was sane.

However, we no longer live in a rational world, at least as respects capital cases (Eric Holder has not yet indicated he will seek the death penalty, although most informed people believe he will).

The killer's multiple lawyers, taking full advantage of our loss of rationality, want to change the focus of the case to talk about something else.  This is the latest:
Fox News reports:  

Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are headed to court to ask a judge to ease restrictions placed on him in prison as he awaits trial.

Tsarnaev's lawyers argued in a motion filed last month that so-called "special administrative measures" are impairing their ability to defend him. The measures are often used in terrorism cases and restrict access to the mail, the media, the telephone and visitors.

Oral arguments are scheduled Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Tsarnaev is accused in twin bombings near the finish line of the April 15 marathon. Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured.

Authorities allege that he and his brother, Tamerlan, built and planted the bombs. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died four days after the marathon following a gun battle with police.

Of course, I'm sure his team of lawyers will present an outraged case explaining why they can't really "defend" him.  While this maneuver is, in that sense, legitimate, that's not what it's really about.  It's about the usual:  Manufactured procedural delay, to order to drive up costs and overall delay.  The latter two, once stoked as much as possible, will then be used as the ammunition to try to extort a plea deal with a life sentence instead of the death penalty.

It reminds me of the endless litigation about Nidal Hasan's beard, litigation undertaken for the same general reason.  The ostensible purpose was to safeguard Hasan's supposed religious practices.  The actual reason was to soak up time and money by talking about something  --  anything  --  but what the defendant did.

So we can expect more of this, plus endless appeals.  Anything but a trial about the facts of what Tsarnaev was up to that dreadful day.

That's the way it goes for now, and that's the way it will continue to go until we recover our senses and demand that cases focus on what the defendant did instead of about what the lawyers and their hired shrinks (which is next) can do.

Just so we'll remember, however, I have put below what this case should actually be about.

                    Martin  Richard

                      2005 - 2013

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