Tags: | trial | death | penalty | plea | bargain

Journalist: Feds Want Death, Not Plea Deal, for Tsarnaev

By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 05:45 PM

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will not escape trial for the deadly Boston Marathon bombing because federal prosecutors will reject a plea deal in favor of a jury conviction that might — emphasis on "might" — result in the death penalty, TV and multimedia journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell told Newsmax TV on Monday.

As the trial opened on Monday with jury selection in U.S. District Court in Boston, the network TV news veteran and founder of janeunchained.com told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that federal prosecutors "have every reason to be completely confident" in their case.

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"There is overwhelming evidence that this young man did this monstrous act in conjunction with his brother. There's no question as to whether or not he's going to be convicted — that's guaranteed," said Velez-Mitchell. "The question is only will he get the death penalty."

Massachusetts abolished capital punishment at the state level in 1984, and it remains to be seen whether the juror pool will produce enough people willing to consider, and apply, the death penalty in a federal terrorism case.

The U.S. District judge has already rejected defense efforts to delay and move the trial out of Boston.

Tsarnaev, 21, is facing 30 charges including three counts of murder for the 2013 attack that he allegedly carried out in conjunction with his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who subsequently died in a gun battle with police.

"Of course, the defense team is now going to try to use the 'kid brother' card," said Velez-Mitchell, paraphrasing the likely defense argument: "Oh, this was the kid brother. He was influenced by his older brother and he was under his spell. Therefore, he should not be held accountable."

"To that I say nonsense," she said. "Why? Because when this young man was finally trapped and captured in that boat, he had scrawled that he did this in retaliation for the United States' involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he referred to the people he killed and maimed as 'collateral damage.'

"To me, that shows he was in up to his eyeballs," said Velez-Mitchell. "Additionally, this was not a spur-of- the-moment decision. These two young men, these brothers, had to go online and research and learn how to make bombs and they planned to head into Times Square once it was all done. He is definitely as culpable as his now deceased brother."

Whether a Massachusetts jury will consider those facts grounds for a death sentence upon conviction is another matter, she said.

"I never predict what juries are going to do," said Velez-Mitchell. "Why? Because over the years, every expert who's made a prediction on a big case like this has been wrong. They thought Casey Anthony was going to be convicted and she wasn't. The list goes on and on of bad predictions in terms of what jurors are going to do."

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Velez-Mitchell also discussed a new survey by the pro-life group Operation Rescue showing that 73 abortion clinics in the United States shut down in 2014, continuing a trend of fewer such clinics in the last several years.

The closings of abortion clinics, coupled with the easing of old social stigmas against single motherhood, have created a new reality, said Velez-Mitchell, referring to it as "the Bristol Palin effect," an allusion to the teen-aged daughter of conservative activist Sarah Palin giving birth out of wedlock.

"We have now created a whole new social condition that we have to deal with," said Velez-Mitchell.

She also commented on reports that some women using the ride-sharing service Uber were sexually assaulted by drivers — another controversy for the upstart company that has faced bans in some countries where it wants to compete with established taxi services.

"They need to upgrade their [driver] background checks, and that's going to cost money. Therefore, they might not be as cheap as they were," Velez-Mitchell said of Uber. "So you get what you paid for in the end."

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will not escape trial for the deadly Boston Marathon bombing because federal prosecutors will reject a plea deal in favor a jury conviction that might — emphasis on "might" — result in the death penalty, TV and multimedia journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell told Newsmax TV on Monday.
trial, death, penalty, plea, bargain
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2015-45-05
Monday, 05 Jan 2015 05:45 PM
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