Richard W. Matt, one of the convicted murderers who staged an elaborate escape from New York's largest prison nearly three weeks ago, was shot and killed on Friday by a federal agent, two people with knowledge of the situation said.
The authorities encountered Mr. Matt after the inmate, who was on foot, tried to carjack a camper vehicle near Malone, N.Y., a third person with knowledge of the situation said. The driver sped away and called 911, and law enforcement officers responded.
There was a report of a second episode of gunfire as officers pursued David Sweat, the other inmate. The officers did not see Mr. Sweat, but they heard him running. His whereabouts was unclear.
Recently in Notorious Cases Category
State. No question in my mind.Events are moving right along. Valerie Bauerlein reports in the WSJ:
Unlike the Boston Marathon, this was not a national and international event but rather a local church. Also, there is no reason, at this point, to believe this murderer's attack was any kind of terrorist attack on the United States as a nation, as Tsarnaev's was.
There is no state action here, and any effect on interstate commerce is very tenuous. There was a time, half a century ago, when federal criminal law needed to be stretched to cover local cases of violence by individuals with no state action involved because state and local government was unable or unwilling to deliver justice and thus people were denied equal protection of the laws. Those days are long behind us.
Robert Costa, Lindsey Bever, J. Freedom du Lac and Sari Horwitz report in the WaPo, "Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said [Dylann] Roof was arrested during a traffic stop in Shelby, N.C., just after 11 a.m., roughly 14 hours after officers responded to the shooting at Emanuel AME."
"have a duty to ensure a fair and impartial process for all parties involved" and "will not be baited into litigating this case through the media."
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- New, horrifying details are surfacing about what happened inside the Savopoulos mansion near Vice President Joe Biden's house before the murders.
A law enforcement source tell WUSA9's Bruce Leshan that detectives now believe the killers tortured the 10-year-old boy, Phillip Savopoulos, in the effort to get money out of his father.
Police believe the killers were in the house for about 10 hours, and that they successfully forced the Savopoulos family to get them tens of thousands of dollars. Someone may have actually had to go out and get the cash while the rest of the family and their housekeeper were held hostage.
The prime suspect in this grotesque crime is one Daron Dylan Wint.
Was Wint a stranger to the criminal justice system? Not exactly.
The Supreme Court has mandated since 1978 that the defendant can proffer to the jury any aspect of his character, background, or record that he wants to argue as mitigating. When he does, there are actually three decisions to be made. (1) Is the factor factually true? (2) If so, is it actually mitigating? (3) If so, how much weight should it be given?
It seems to me that there is not enough attention given to the second step. Supposedly mitigating factor 16 on page 18, for example is, "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's mother facilitated his brother Tamerlan's radicalization." Ten jurors found that factually true. How many considered it mitigating? Did all 10 understand they could find it true and still say "So what? That's not mitigating."
These kinds of failures to make clear to the jury the nature of what they are supposed to be deciding were held to be unconstitutional when they ran against the defendant many years ago. But ambiguities and omissions that run in the defendant's favor apparently go uncorrected.
The jurors probably get to the right end result in any case. In the weighing process, jurors may find that a true factor gets zero weight if it is not mitigating. Still, I would like to see this cleaned up.
Had Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev been sentenced to life at a federal Supermax prison, his remaining years would have been spent in a tiny concrete cell, 23 hours a day, constantly alone, with barely a sight of the sky and none of the country. As punishment for crime goes, that might have been enough.
But more than punishment was at stake in the case of Tsarnaev...The bombing was no mere criminal act carried out on an especially large scale. Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan...carried out an act of war aimed at the institutions and values of American civic life.
The victims were unsuspecting and defenseless, and the damage done will be felt for decades. Think of the Richard family: Bill Richard, the father, eardrums blown and wounded with shrapnel; his wife Denise, who lost an eye; daughter Jane, who lost a leg; son Henry, unwounded but traumatized; son Martin, murdered at the age of eight.
No society serious about its self-defense and preservation can tolerate this.
Like many observers of the case in Russia, the Tsarnaev family has claimed -- without providing any meaningful evidence -- that the bombing was part of a U.S. government conspiracy intended to test the American public's reaction to a terrorist threat and the imposition of martial law in a U.S. city. "This was all fabricated by the American special services," Said-Hussein Tsarnaev, the convicted bomber's uncle, tells TIME.
U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said today in a statement that "Tsarnaev coldly and callously perpetrated a terrorist attack" in Boston.
"We know all too well that no verdict can heal the souls of those who lost loved ones, nor the minds and bodies of those who suffered life-changing injuries from this cowardly attack," Lynch said. "But the ultimate penalty is a fitting punishment for this horrific crime and we hope that the completion of this prosecution will bring some measure of closure to the victims and their families. We thank the jurors for their service, the people of Boston for their vigilance, resilience and support and the law enforcement community in Boston and throughout the country for their important work."
I also thought this item in the Herald's story was noteworthy:
Only three of the 12 jurors bought into the defense argument that Tsarnaev was influenced by his older brother Tamerlan. The jurors unanimously agreed that Tsarnaev showed no remorse and they unanimously voted to put him to death.
At first, I agreed with the conventional wisdom that defense counsel would not call their client to the stand. Now, I have my doubts. The government's evidence of the savagery and cruelty of this crime in my view makes the death penalty likely unless the defense can move the ball.
I think their best shot to avoid lethal injection is to call Tsarnaev and have him show remorse. If he does so, and makes a convincing showing, I think he lives. It would help if he broke down in tears of grief in a way that struck the jury as sincere, and not a coached performance.