The Associated Press posts, "Lawyers defend Boston bomb suspect amid furloughs," by Michelle R. Smith. It's via the San Francisco Chronicle.
The lawyers defending Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are dealing with federal budget cuts that will force them to take three unpaid weeks off even as they prepare to defend one of the most complicated criminal cases in the nation.
The office of federal defender Miriam Conrad in Boston was appointed to represent Tsarnaev, who is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill in the April 15 bombings. Her office must complete 15 days of furloughs between April and the end of September because of cuts of around 10 percent. Conrad has also asked that two death penalty lawyers be appointed.
Other federal defenders interviewed Wednesday said the defense could cost millions of dollars, given the amount of evidence to examine, the huge amount of federal resources being expended and the possibility that the government will pursue the death penalty.
Conrad is extraordinary lawyer, said Michael Nachmanoff, a federal public defender in Virginia. But he said every conceivable law enforcement resource will be thrown at the case, while Conrad tries to manage cuts.
"Bomb Suspect Has Chance to Avoid Execution by Cooperating," is the title of extensive reporting by Erik Larson, Patricia Hurtado and Janelle Lawrence for Bloomberg Businessweek. Here's the beginning:
The best chance for 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to avoid execution for the deadly Boston Marathon bombing may be to cooperate fully with investigators, or convince a jury he was “brainwashed” by his older brother.
U.S. authorities said Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev detonated two homemade bombs near the race’s finish line April 15, killing three people and injuring more than 200. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a shootout with police. Dzhokhar, captured hiding in a boat in a Watertown backyard, was charged with two capital counts, including use of a weapon of mass destruction.
His lawyers will probably blame his involvement on the “overpowering influence” of his 26-year-old brother, said Harvey Silverglate, a civil liberties and defense attorney. Tamerlan Tsarnaev “appears to have been an embittered and dangerous character, and it is well known that older siblings can often have tremendous power over younger siblings.”
"Balancing State and Federal Roles in Boston Bomber Case," is by Maggie Clark at Stateline.
Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces federal charges that carry the death penalty, a punishment that does not exist in Massachusetts since the state repealed it in the 1980s.
So far, no Massachusetts authorities have publicly objected to a potential death sentence, but the case does raise federalism questions, said Doug Berman, a law professor at the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University and the editor of the blog, Sentencing Law and Policy.
There is an understanding that federal authorities should be cautious before pursuing the death penalty in a non-death penalty state, said Berman. “But it’s well established that the federal government and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are separate sovereigns and each side has the right to vindicate its interest,” he said.
Tsarnaev was charged by a federal court, but he could still face charges in state court for a number of state crimes, including the murder of MIT security officer Sean Collier, kidnapping and carjacking of a man from a convenience store in the Boston suburb of Allston, and other serious state crimes.
ReutersLegal posts, "Prosecutors face tough call on death penalty in Boston case," by Jessica Dye.
While local prosecutors will make a recommendation, and defense attorneys will weigh in, the ultimate decision will land on the desk of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his deputies at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Such decisions carry political consequences, particularly in high-profile cases, legal experts said.
Michael Chertoff, former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, said the Justice Department will be cautious and "make a decision based on the appropriate factors, not on what people on the sidelines are getting on TV and urging them to do."
Earlier coverage of the case begins at the link.