Share This Page

Defense cries foul in bombing case

| Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, 6:00 p.m.

BOSTON — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev renewed their accusations on Tuesday that prosecutors are withholding evidence they need to defend their client against a potential death penalty.

Tsarnaev's lawyers complained that prosecutors have failed to turn over several types of evidence they believe could help them argue against the death penalty, including information on a 2011 triple slaying in Waltham in which Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan, is a suspect.

Miriam Conrad, one of Tsarnaev's lawyers, told the judge that the defense has also been frustrated by the government's refusal to turn over the immigration files of Tsarnaev's family and friends, information she said could be used to argue against the death penalty.

“The government could provide it, and has not offered a single reason why it won't,” she said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb countered that prosecutors have turned over “virtually all of the mitigating evidence” they have.

“We have not withheld any favorable information from them,” he said.

In court documents filed last month, prosecutors acknowledged that a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev told investigators that Tamerlan participated in the unsolved killings of three men who were found in a Waltham apartment with their throats slit and marijuana sprinkled over their bodies.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers argued in court papers that evidence of Tamerlan's involvement is mitigating information that is important as they prepare to defend his brother in the marathon bombing. His lawyers haven't said why they consider the evidence to be mitigating, but legal experts have theorized that the defense may be trying to show that Dzhokhar fell under the murderous influence of his older brother and that Tamerlan was the driving force behind the marathon bombings.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.