MSNBC posts, "Sentence the Boston bomber to meaninglessness, by University of St. Thomas Law School Professor Mark Osler. He's a former federal prosecutor.
Understandably, there are already calls for the execution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is now charged with the bombings of the Boston Marathon. He is alleged to have planned and executed the horrific bombings with his brother, Tamerlan, who died in a subsequent shootout with police.
Tsarnaev undoubtedly deserves the most severe sentence available if he is found guilty (and it is hard to imagine another outcome). However, that sentence, for this defendant, is not execution. From everything we know about Tsarnaev, his principal fear is not death. After all, he walked the streets with a ticking time bomb strapped to his back, engaged the police in a shootout, and likely tried to kill himself as he was being captured. None of these actions are consistent with a man who bears a deep fear of death.
Rather, what someone like Tsarnaev probably fears most is meaninglessness.
"Will Prosecutors in the Boston Marathon Bombing Case Seek the Death Penalty?" is by Matt Vasilogambros for National Journal.
Federal officials will likely seek the death penalty for the surviving suspect of the Boston Marathon bombings, potentially making him the first terrorist to be executed since Timothy McVeigh nearly 12 years ago.
For a man who is suspected of killing three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and with plans to carry out further attacks in New York City, the death penalty only seems justified, some former prosecutors say.
This will be a textbook example of when the death penalty is used against federal terrorism suspects, said former Clinton Justice Department official Beth Wilkinson, one of Washington's most promiment attorneys and the woman who successfully argued for the execution of McVeigh for carrying out the Oklahom City bombing in 1995.
One of the biggest differences between this case and the one against McVeigh, Wilkinson said, is that it seems Tsarnaev is cooperating and talking with officials, whereas the Oklahoma City bomber exercised his right to remain silent through the entire trial.
Not all former Justice Department officials think prosecutors should take this route. Joseph DiGenova, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan to be the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said he would try to get Tsarnaev to plead guilty and avoid execution.
“If I was a prosecutor, I would want to get a deal so that he tells us everything we need to know in exchange taking the death penalty off the table and getting a full acceptance of responsibility,” he said.
"Boston suspect's defense team gets major boost," is the AP report by Denise Lavoie. It's via Huffington Post.
The defense team representing the Boston Marathon bombing suspect got a major boost Monday with the addition of Judy Clarke, a San Diego lawyer who has won life sentences instead of the death penalty for several high-profile clients, including the Unabomber and the gunman in the rampage that injured former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Clarke's appointment was approved Monday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler.
The judge denied, at least for now, a request from Miriam Conrad, the public defender of 19-year-old suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, to appoint a second death penalty lawyer, David Bruck, a professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz said the decision to put Clarke on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's defense team shows "they are going to litigate hard against the death penalty."
"They are not going to put on a jihadi defense," he said. "The client wants to live, and he wants to avoid the death penalty. They are not going to say, `I want to die, I want to join my brother.' "
The order appointing Clarke is available in Adobe .pdf format, via Politico.
Additional coverage of the appointment includes:
"Death penalty expert is appointed to Tsarnaev defense team," by Martin Finucane for the Boston Globe.
"Olympics Bomb Lawyer Chosen to Defend Suspect in Boston Bombing," by Erik Larson for Bloomberg News. It's via the San Francisco Chronicle.
ReutersLegal posts, "Death penalty expert Clarke joins defense of Boston bomb suspect," by Terry Baynes.
Earlier coverage of the Boston Marathon boming case begins at the link.
Last Friday, Clarke gave the keynote address at the Loyola Law School Los Angeles, Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice's annual symposium. AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch covered Clarke's speech. The report is via ABC News.
The names of her past clients — Susan Smith, Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski and most recently, Tucson shooter Jared Loughner — run like a list of the most reviled in American criminal history. But she did not say whether she would add to that list the latest name in the news: The suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Clarke was reticent throughout her keynote speech and declined to take questions from the audience. Instead, she talked about how she had been "sucked into the black hole, the vortex" of death penalty cases 18 years ago when she represented Smith, who drowned her two children.
"I got a dose of understanding human behavior and I learned what the death penalty does to us," she said. "I don't think it's a secret that I oppose the death penalty. "
She saved Smith's life and later would do the same for Kaczynski, Loughner and the Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph. All received life sentences instead of death.
Before an audience of lawyers, judges and law students at Loyola Law School's annual Fidler Institute, Clarke shared her approach in handling death penalty cases.
"The first clear way death cases are different is the clients," said Clarke, now a visiting professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Virginia. "Most have suffered from serious severe trauma, unbelievable trauma. We know that from brain research. Many suffer from severe cognitive development issues that affect the core of their being."