Boston Magazine is the latest to jump on a new anti-Tsarnaev bandwagon, a pseudo-argument that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s legal defense intends to aver that he was unduly influenced by his older brother Tamerlan, in order to avoid the death penalty for the Boston marathon bombing.
This assertion, which has been propagated even by a publication as prestigious as the Guardian, derives from the fact that the defense team is asking for the government’s files on the allegation that Ibragim Todashev implicated Tamerlan and himself in the murders of three people in Waltham, Massachusetts in 2011, as “mitigating” evidence. All kinds of “legal experts” who are not privy to the details of the case have been brought in to support the speculation.
But the Boston FBI office’s assertion, that Todashev was about to sign a confession to this effect just before it killed him, is bogus because Todashev was not in Massachusetts at the time of the triple murder, according to his widow and the Florida CAIR chapter. Therefore the prosecution’s assertion now that the FBI interviews with Todashev provided evidence of Tsarnaev involvement in the triple murders is without foundation.
You want mitigation? How about the fact that the same agency that has so zealously pursued Dzhokhar Tsarnaev shot a man who could not walk without crutches seven times, including through the top of his head, and has refused to explain itself.
(And in order to impose the death penalty on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for bombing the marathon the government will first have to convince a jury that he did it. On that point some of us who have looked critically at the evidence are skeptical.)
Of course, in a court motion the government is resisting turning over the Todashev files, saying that to do so “would jeopardize the investigation of the Waltham murders.” Right.