Editor’s Note: The following is a recounting of how the sentencing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev unfolded last week in a federal court in Boston.
Formal sentencing in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now convicted on some thirty counts in relation to the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, took place on Wednesday, June 24, at the John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston, MA. Despite the sentence being well known prior to this hearing, the proceedings nonetheless provided some surprises for observers.
Court convened a few minutes late at 9.45 am. with William Weinreb, Aloke Chakravarty, Steve Mellin and Nadine Pelligrini representing the government. David Bruck, William Fick, Timothy Watkins, Judy Clarke and Miriam Conrad were present for the defense. Prior to this the defense and prosecution teams could be observed in the courtroom. The prosecution, for the most part, remained at their table and were shortly joined by Judy Clarke for the defense, whereupon she spoke at length with members of the prosecution. Clarke’s demeanor appeared upbeat as she smiled frequently throughout her conversation with the prosecution.
While Clarke conversed with the prosecution, Miriam Conrad, also for the defense, appeared to await the arrival of her client, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in the courtroom. Upon Tsarnaev’s entrance Conrad greeted him and both client and attorney engaged in dialogue with their chairs inclined towards each other and often leaning close. Although many had predicted that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev would not speak at his sentencing hearing due to the upcoming appeals process, I personally became convinced, at this point, that he would in fact speak. My perception was that Conrad, her hand frequently at her client’s back, was preparing him for something .
Judy Clarke made her way back to the defense table just a couple of minutes prior to Judge O’Toole’s entrance. Clarke took her seat, to the left of her client before greeting him.Tsarnaev turned slowly and briefly from his conversation with Miriam Conrad, who sat at his right, and spoke no more than a couple of words to Clarke before returning his attention to Conrad. Judge O’Toole began by speaking briefly on his review of sentencing guidelines and pre-sentencing reports.
Victim Impact Statements:
It was mentioned that some had provided impact statements in writing, but those who spoke were:
Patricia & Bill Campbell: (Parents of Krystle Campbell who died from her injuries at the first bomb site.)
Karen McWaters: (Friend of Kryslte Campbell and who lost a leg as a result of the bombing.)
Jennifer Rogers: (Sister of Officer Sean Collier who was slain on the night of 04/18/13.)
Bill and Denise Richard: (Who we are told lost their youngest son, Martin, at the site of the second bomb, and whom, along with their daughter, Jane, sustained injuries as a result of the bombing.)
Richard Donahue. (A Transit Police Sergeant who came close to losing his life after being shot by “friendly fire” at the Watertown shoot-out on the night of 04/18/13.)
Michael Chase. (A spectator at the 2013 marathon who states he provided aid to the Richard family and who suffered ruptured eardrums and also a concussion.)
Joseph Craven. (Suffered injuries as a result of the bombing.)
Stephanie Benz. (Suffered shrapnel wounds as a result of the bombing.)
Henry Bogard. (A passer-by who sustained PCS and suffers from PTSD.)
Elizabeth Bourgault. (A runner who was injured.) (more…)