Judge O'Toole has on three separate occasions turned down a request by Tsarnaev's attorneys for a change of venue due to the obvious reason he can't get a fair trial in Boston. The First Circuit Court of Appeals for the second time yesterday sided with Judge O'Toole in denying a change of venue. Seriously, an Indianapolis judge grants the Richmond Hills subdivision explosion defendants a change of venue, a much smaller event in a major city, but the 24x7 media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings that resulted in a complete lockdown of the city while police conducted searches door-to-door for the accused without a warrant doesn't qualify for a change of venue? Please. The three-judge panel's decision was rendered by Chief Judge Sandra Lynch, a Wellesley classmate of Hillary Clinton who was appointed to the bench by Bill Clinton and Judge Jeffrey Howard, an appointee of George W. Bush.
In both decisions, Judge Juan Torruella, a Reagan appointee, has offered sharp dissenting opinions in which he makes the case for moving the case out of Boston. The following is a summation of the background facts Judge Torruella made in his dissenting opinion:
On April 15, 2013, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street in downtown Boston. Three people were killed and approximately 264 others were injured. Countless others ran from the scene in terror. Over the next four days, a massive manhunt for those responsible ensued. On the third day, April 18, authorities released video surveillance and photos of the suspects: Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. That night, while the brothers were trying to flee Boston, they allegedly carjacked an SUV and killed an MIT police officer. In a subsequent shootout with police, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was seriously injured. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (hereinafter, "Tsarnaev") was able to temporarily escape, in part by allegedly driving over his brother.
Finally, on April 19, the search had narrowed to the Boston suburb of Watertown. In an unprecedented move, authorities called for a "shelter-in-place" advisory, effectively placing the city in lockdown: residents in Watertown and the surrounding areas -- Boston proper, Cambridge, Newton, Belmont, and Waltham -- were ordered not to leave their homes. The T (Boston's public transportation system) was shut down, as were most businesses and public offices. While residents were confined to their homes, FBI agents, local police officers, and SWAT team members went door-todoor in a twenty-block radius of Watertown searching for Tsarnaev. Hours later, he was found hiding in a boat in a resident's backyard. Tsarnaev was bloodied from a firefight with authorities and had written a note on the boat claiming that "[w]hen you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims" and that the Marathon victims were collateral damage. Immediately upon his arrest, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino tweeted "We got him"; the Boston Police Department tweeted "CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won." Meanwhile, Watertown residents "flooded the streets, cheering every passing police car and armored vehicle in an impromptu parade" and residents "danced in the streets outside Fenway Park.
Most -- if not all -- of this four-day ordeal was shown live on television and reported real-time on the internet . . .
The reporting focused not only on Tsarnaev, but on the city as a whole. Coverage included stories of the victims and their family and friends, those who bravely risked their lives to help the victims, and how the entire community came together. This phenomenon and sentiment were embodied in the "Boston Strong" campaign which "rallied a city," became "shorthand for defiance, solidarity, and caring," and "present[ed] a unified front in the face of [a] threat." Indeed, one could not go anywhere in Boston in the bombing's aftermath without seeing the slogan on a car, tshirt, bracelet, tattoo, or even mowed into the outfield of Fenway Park. It spurred concerts, fundraisers, and rallies throughout the city. A website, onefundboston.org, was also formed "with the purpose of helping those most affected by the tragic Boston Marathon bombings" by raising money and providing a forum to "gather encouraging stories of strength, recovery, and hope from survivors."
These stories and the "Boston Strong" campaign continue to this day, almost two years later . . .Unfortunately, Judge Torruella botched the facts. He asserts Tsarnaev was bloodied from a firefight with authorities when he was found hiding in a boat in a resident's backyard. That is the false narrative initially put out by the government. In fact, Tsarnaev was unarmed at the time and was unable to return any fire as authorities repeatedly fired on him and launched flash bangs into the boat. The story about him writing a note in his own blood on the side of the boat has always been suspect to anyone with a modicum of discernment. Dzhokhar was likely not intended to survive his injuries to face a trial like his brother, who turned up dead after a supposed shootout with police despite video evidence he was captured by police alive, forced to strip naked, handcuffed and put in the back of a police car. The brothers' friends have been threatened and prosecuted by federal agents on trumped up charges or kicked out of the country to prevent them from testifying at Tsarnaev's trial. In the case of one friend, Ibragim Todashev, he was executed by an FBI agent during an unlawful interrogation that ran on for hours without the presence of his attorney while federal agents were trying to coerce his confession for participating in an unrelated triple homicide with the Tsarnaev brothers, a case federal agents now admit they have no evidence tying Todashev or the Tsarnaev brothers.
Judge Torruella next went to great length to demonstrate just how badly the jury pool had been tainted, enumerating a number of the many biased statements made by the jurors while answering questions to the court. Among those were the following:
- "[H]ow could I possibly find the defendant not guilty with all the news information. I have trouble accepting him getting housing & living assistance from the state of MA, education without paying, taking the oath of citizenship and then committing crimes against innocent everyday people who are also citizens of USA. Not to mention taxpayers['] $$$"
- "He does not deserve a trial."
- "Caught redhanded should not waste the $ on the trial."
- "[T]hey shouldn't waste the bulits [sic] or poison; hang them."
- "[W]e all know he's guilty so quit wasting everybody's time with a jury and string him up."
- "You don't [sic] want to know [what I thought when I received my summons]! I have close friends that work the emergency room at MA General! What I really thought? We give you home, money eduat [sic] & this is how you pay us back? I'm sorry I'm all for the death penity [sic] on this -- my friends still have nightmare [sic] of that day!" "
- "My husband and I watched the events on TV [live], including lockdown and capture -- it was very upsetting, traumatizing, made you feel not safe in your own 'back yard.'"
The press coverage of this case -- beginning with the bombing itself and the subsequent manhunt culminating with the shelter-in-place order, continuing thereafter with stories of the victims, Boston's coming together and healing as one united city, and the coverage of the pretrial events -- is unparalleled in American legal history. Given the impact of the bombing and subsequent press coverage on the entire city, it is absurd to suggest that Tsarnaev will receive a fair and impartial trial in the Eastern Division of the District of Massachusetts. There is no sound basis for refusing to apply a presumption of prejudice to a high-profile, omnipresent, emotionally-charged case like this -- particularly where the entire Boston community has been terrorized, victimized, and brutalized by such a horrendous act of violence. No amount of voir dire can overcome this pervasive prejudice, no matter how carefully it is conducted.
The whole world is watching to see how the American legal system treats Tsarnaev, even if he is allegedly the most dreadful of defendants. Every move taken is scrutinized to see if the bedrock American rights of "innocent until proven guilty" and the "right to a fair trial by an impartial jury" are given to a foreign-born defendant accused of terrorism -- among the most heinous of crimes. Unfortunately, both the district court and majority fail to uphold these rights, and this failure damages the credibility of the American judicial system.A lot of people scoff at the notion that these events are planned out in advance for the specific purpose of convincing Americans to submit to a form of government absent the founding principles embodied in the Bill of Rights for the sake of national security. Seth MacFarlane's "Family Guy" seems to rub in our faces too often what is taking place in plain sight. I think Betsy McGee's YouTube video explaining how his animated cartoon is used as a form of predictive programming is hard to ignore, particularly the episode which ran less than a month prior to the Boston Marathon bombings that accurately predicted every key element of that false flag event--right down to the accused Muslim terrorist who befriends Peter Griffin getting a fair trial after he's captured by authorities. Listen closely as Peter asks his friend, Joe, the wheel chair-bound police officer, whether he will get a fair trial.
By the way, the Family Guy also predicted in 2009 Bruce Jenner's sex change. Don't miss Peter Griffin's line at the end of the clip telling American soldiers not to forget what they're all fighting for.