Saturday, February 28, 2015

#Tsarnaev case updates 3-4-15 #BostonMarathonBombings

  • Jury Set to Begin Hearing Case

  • Artist Art Lien: Seating the jury

  • 10 Women, 8 Men Selected as Jurors

  • Tweet by WGBH staffer @phillipWGBH 3-3-15: #Tsarnaev 's defense team voiced about tiny # of people of color in eligible jury pool. Final jury confirmed their fears, zero. @wgbhnews

  • Greater Boston discussion by @rooneyemily

  • from filings late Monday, 3-2-15:

    Govt on jurors believing #Tsarnaev guilty: Opinion was weakly held precisely because it was based only on media reports.

    Govt on #Tsarnaev jury racial makeup: No law entitles defendant to jury of any particular composition or a venire that will be a substantially true mirror of the community.

    Addendum to Role of Race,
    Lack of Diversity in Jury Pool
    posted 3-2-15

    Marathon Bombing Trial Can Stay in Boston, Court Rules

    A federal appeals court in Massachusetts has denied a request by lawyers of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to halt his trial and change the venue from Boston.

  • Complete Article via NBC

  • Divided Appeals Court Ruling

  • WGBH: The Tsarnaev Jury Pool: Questioning the Role of Race and the Absence of Diversity

    Defense attorneys for alleged Boston Marathon Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on Thursday filed new information under seal to bolster their request before the US Appeals Court to move the trial out of Boston.

    The defense team also moved to dismiss the 30-count indictment against Tsarnaev and cited the absence of racial diversity of the jury pool and the way it was selected.

    Andy Thibault has sat in courtroom number 6 from the start to the finish of one-on-one juror questioning, which began five weeks ago. He’s taken meticulous notes and one observation stands out above all others he says.

    “The most striking observation is that there have been so few people of color. So that whenever there is a person of color called during voir dire there is a great flutter of Twitter activity.”

    Thibault, a legal writer and researcher, is the author of more COOL JUSTICE...

    ... In this most recent complaint they state that the order of jurors who were questioned one-by-one by Judge O’Toole was not random and had “non-neutral effects on cognizable groups”. In other words young people and people of color were under-represented during voir dire. The consequence says Harvard Law school professor Charles Ogletree is significant ...

  • Complete Article & podcast via WGBH

  • Cool Justice Editor’s Note 3-2-15, from an ongoing review of voir dire reports:

    On Jan. 26, a day of heightened security, pool reporters noted the first black jurors appeared. This was the seventh day of voir dire or individual questioning. A total of 81 jurors had been questioned during the first six days.

    Many of the jurors questioned to that point expressed strong feelings about the guilt of the defendant and positions for or against the death penalty. Some said they would vote to convict even if the prosecution fails to make its case.

    By Friday, Jan. 30 – the ninth day of voir dire – prosecution and defense teams exhausted the first panel of 1,373 jurors. Juror #246 – from the second panel – was the 109th to be interviewed.

    It appeared that a clear majority of prospective jurors questioned to that point gave answers which would tend to eliminate them as fair, impartial and aware of or accepting of the burden of proof on the prosecution.

    On Feb. 18 – the 17th day of voir dire – The Boston Globe noted the first juror of the day was a brown-skinned man. He was the 207th juror to be questioned.


  • Cool Justice Twitter

  • Boston Bombing: Tsarnaev's Lawyers Argue to Relocate Trial

    BOSTON — Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's defense lawyers argued Thursday [Feb. 19] that the trial's jury pool has been irrevocably tainted with a presumption of prejudice and therefore the proceedings should be moved out of town.

  • Complete Article via NBC

  • News item: U.S. Judge O'Toole says jury selection going well in Boston Marathon bombing case #Tsarnaev

  • Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    News item: U.S. Judge O'Toole says jury selection going well in Boston Marathon bombing case #Tsarnaev

    U.S. District Judge George O’Toole–in his third motion denying a change of venue for the Boston Marathon bombing trial–boasted again that “the process of interviewing prospective jurors in person … is proving successful.”

    O’Toole pointed to a particular juror as an example of fair-mindedness:

    One human resources professional explained that it was a common occurrence in her experience for her initial impression of the merits of a workplace controversy to be altered or even reversed when she had information from a fuller or more careful investigation, and so she had learned to keep her judgment suspended until she had all the necessary information.

    The court interviewed this particular juror on Jan. 22, the fifth day of voir dire, as the individual questioning of prospective jurors is known.

    However, the human resources professional O’Toole cited as a voir dire success story made quite a few statements the judge declined to note in his ruling …

  • Complete article @whowhatwhy

  • Where presumption of innocence is just ‘a term of art’

  • WGBH’s Emily Rooney on the jury pool

  • Documents and rulings O’Toole doesn’t want anyone to see

  • Washington Post: O’Toole rips defense on disclosures about jury pool

  • Gideon: It depends on what you mean by a fair trial- updated

  • Cool Justice Twitter

  • Sunday, January 25, 2015

    The latest #Tsarnaev memo U.S. District Judge George O’Toole doesn’t want anyone to see

    Among hundreds of others judge hides,
    or tries to hide,
    in sealing frenzy

    The pre-trial results are in from a straw poll of prospective jurors in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capital felony case.

    Not suprisingly, it’s a landslide for guilty.

    The defense team argues that out of 1,373 prospective jurors, 68 percent believe Tsarnaev is guilty of taking part in the Boston Marathon bombing. If one adds to that personal connections or allegiances to people affected by the terrorist attack, the number of jurors who already have a reason to vote for guilty leaps to 85 percent, according to a motion filed by the defense.

    What’s even more unusual is the reaction of U.S. District Judge George O’Toole to the motion, which was filed publicly and disseminated widely on social media …

  • Link to memo & complete article at WhoWhatWhy

  • Cool Justice Twitter

  • Hardware on display outside court

  • Via The New Yorker: Where presumption of innocence means something else

  • WGBH’s Emily Rooney on O’Toole closing courtroom

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  • more COOL JUSTICE Jazz Trailer

  • Louis The Coin: ‘You Thought It Was More’