Justice for Dzokhar Tsarnaev — and the Rest of Us

Judge, Jury and Even Defense Will Help Us Get Answers

By Laura Rozen

Published April 29, 2013, issue of May 03, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

One week later, Fick was at Tsarnaev’s bedside as U.S. Federal Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler asked the teen, recovering from gunshot wounds, if he understood the charges against him and that he could face the death penalty.

Debates had swirled in Washington the weekend before about whether Dzhokhar should be held as an enemy combatant, as South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsay Graham proposed, to face a military tribunal instead of a terrorism charges in federal civilian court. (This despite the fact that Dzhokhar is a US citizen, having been granted citizenship in a ceremony at Cambridge city hall on September 11, 2012.) The transcript showed Judge Browler decisively put such grandstanding to rest.

“Do you understand everything I have said about the right to remain silent?” Bowler asked.

“Defendant nods affirmatively,” the transcript notes.

“You have the right to an attorney at this initial appearance, during any questioning, at all proceedings at court,” Bowler said. “Can you afford a lawyer?”

“No,” the defendant said — the only word Tsarnaev is recorded as saying in the appearance.

“Let the record reflect that the defendant has said ‘No,’” Bowler continued. “I have provisionally appointed Mr. Fick to represent you in this matter.”

“Ordinarily I would be asking the bail question,” the judge said, presumably looking around the hospital room to indicate the unlikeliness of the defendant asking for bail.

“I am going to defer that question at this time, your Honor, and agree to detention without prejudice,” Fick responds.

“The government has no objection to the defendant having access to his counsel,” US prosecutor Weinreb says.

The people doing their jobs soberly and methodically in Tsarnaev’s hospital room that day live and work in the city that experienced the trauma of his actions firsthand. They will help bring justice and accountability to those responsible for killing, maiming and endangering their neighbors, children, students, and co-workers.

They might also eventually provide some answers for the rest of us. It’s a system that makes me very proud for our country, despite the painful questions that remain about why this happened.

Laura Rozen writes the Back Channel column for Al-Monitor. She previously served as a foreign policy reporter for the magazine Foreign Policy and for the websites Politico and Yahoo! News. You can follow her on Twitter at @lrozen


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.