State and Federal law enforcement are busy following the various threads left dangling following the April 15 bombing of the Boston Marathon. Investigators are building a case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and three of his friends accused of obstructing justice. The three foreign students failed to report their friend after seeing surveillance footage from the bombing sight and reportedly removed evidence from the suspect’s dorm room.
The focus of the criminal investigation against the three teenagers is on the events after the bombing and the decisions made to help their friend following the explosion, decisions with serious legal consequences. Legal analyst Lisa Green joined Weekends with Alex Witt to discuss the case, saying that she “hasn’t seen any reporting,” indicating that authorities are attempting to connect Dzhokhar’s friends with the shooting of MIT cop Sean Collier, the carjacking, or the Watertown shootout during the manhunt for the suspects.
Instead, authorities will be “combing through accounts they may have received from these three young men and…cell phone evidence, computer evidence just to make sure there are no other connectivity charges,” Green said.
Meanwhile, a death penalty expert has been added to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s legal defense team, raising suspicions that a deal may be sought to avoid capital punishment, though “ the process by which the justice department will decide what charges to bring, to seek the death penalty, is closer to beginning or end,” according to Green. More likely is that his defense team will seek to throw out statements obtained prior to the reading of Dzhokhar’s Miranda rights.
In addition, authorities will be looking to Karen Russell, the wife of Tamerlan Tsarnaev to find out if she was aware of her husband’s activities amid new reports that the bombs were made in the apartment she shared with him. Federal authorities are keeping Russell under surveillance and following her movements.
While the United States government is prosecuting the case full-tilt, there is at least one corner of the world. An online and poster campaign in Chechnya, Dagestan, and Kyrgyzstan has sprung up claiming Tsarnaev’s innocence. The Kyrgyz special services “are trying to find the distributors of these leaflets,” while a spokesman of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said, “This is an absolute lie. There are no leaflets here,” on Russian radio, the AFP reports.