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U.S. judge blocks 'betrayal' claim in Boston bomber case

By Scott Malone

(Reuters) - A judge told prosecutors on Wednesday that they may not mention that the accused Boston Marathon bomber is a naturalized citizen as a factor in determining whether he should be executed if convicted of the deadly attack.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is the surviving member of a pair of ethnic Chechen brothers who immigrated to the United States about a decade ago whom federal prosecutors contend killed three people and injured more than 260 in the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. Tsarnaev's 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, died after a gunbattle with police three days after the April 15, 2013 bombing.

U.S. District Judge George O'Toole blocked a bid by prosecutors to cite the fact that Tsarnaev took an oath of loyalty to the United States when he became a citizen as an aggravating factor in deciding on the death penalty if he is convicted.

The judge noted that a native-born citizen could not face the same claim because they do not take such an oath.

"It's unduly prejudicial and I will strike," O'Toole said.

O'Toole also denied a request by lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, to allow them to meet jointly with their client and his sisters without having federal agents present.

Defense attorneys had argued that understanding accused Tsarnaev's relations with his family would be important to making a case that he does not deserve execution if convicted, saying the presence of a federal officers prevented normal conversations.

O'Toole instead approved a proposal by prosecutors to have a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent from outside Boston, who is not directly involved in the investigation to monitor the meetings at the prison west of Boston where Tsarnaev is being held.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His trial scheduled to begin in November. Defense attorneys also face a Wednesday deadline to make their case to move the trial outside of Boston.

U.S. laws generally require a person accused of a crime to stand trial in the district where it was committed. Defendants can seek to have proceedings moved to another location where potential jurors may have been less influenced by pretrial publicity. Another judge at U.S. District Court in Boston last month rejected a bid to move out of state the upcoming trials of three friends of Tsarnaev accused of interfering with the investigation by taking a laptop and backpack from his dormitory room.

The case is USA v. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts No. 13-10200

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Grant McCool)

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Vimala Nowlis June 18 2014 at 6:16 PM

Why the heck should the prosecutor not mention that this devil spawn Muslim psycho is a "naturalized citizen"? He enjoyed all the rights citizenship afforded him and allowed him to return to the US after he joined the terrorists movements in Chechnya. Because he's a US citizen, FBI was not allowed to tag him after being notified by the Russians of his terrorist activities in Chechnya.

Of course it's prejudicial because it tends to prove that he's extra guilty after US granted his cursed and damned family refugee status to come to America to escape their unholy and cruel civil war. So much for trying to be nice to evil people!

Why should be allowed to meet his family and sisters? The victims he killed have no chance to meet any family member of friends. And why should he be allowed to meet his family and sisters if he is not a US citizen?

Who the heck is paying for his defense? Not his family and not his terrorists cronies but US taxpayers. Another benefit of US citizenship.

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14 replies
lgreg2001 June 18 2014 at 6:23 PM

It takes seconds to maim and kill hundreds and YEARS for justice....pathetic

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5 replies
rlpjr2 June 18 2014 at 6:12 PM

Fry the little ass... Killer worthless germ

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1 reply
u8nt4me rlpjr2 June 19 2014 at 12:28 AM

Nah, kill him slowly, ripe a arm off, maybe a leg, how about an ear.....let him suffer for a long time and bleed out.

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8 replies
smastro1 June 18 2014 at 6:30 PM

It took one year for the government to execute Timothy Mc vie and they are dragging their feet with this terrorist . Why?

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12 replies
moooooooooochelle June 18 2014 at 11:07 PM


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5 replies
albatroll June 18 2014 at 7:23 PM

No justice for the victims! Just a liberal lawyer in drag (judges are nothing but lawyers in a long dress) who is out to help get this spawn of hell avoid the death penalty. Kill the little muslim bastard now! Quit wasting the hard earned dollars of the working taxpayers.

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1 reply
Dr. Cal Harris albatroll June 18 2014 at 11:12 PM

I am not sure this was a Muslim issue; might have been but I recall is was some vague protest against how his particular ethnic group had been mistreated back home. None of it made much sense to me; not a clear motive or logical. It seemed more of a thrill killing to me, just a sick cry for attention.

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3 replies
rjen164497 June 18 2014 at 6:45 PM

You won't find a more Liberal judge anywhere. He will put the American system on trial instead of the defendant. It appears the ACLU is one of his farvorites. Instead of making rulings he tends to take the law and court into his own thoughts and ideas. He loves his name out there. Sometimes makes rulings to get press time.

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4 replies
morine44 June 18 2014 at 8:12 PM

How about this, you worthless little fukk: How about we just cut you loose in Boston Common, and announce it to the public, say, 24 hours ahead of time? Think any "fellow Americans" will be waiting for you?

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1 reply
KILO ROCK BRAVO morine44 June 18 2014 at 8:13 PM

Amen, as in at a funeral

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OSHP367 June 18 2014 at 6:54 PM

So the oath means......nothing?

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4 replies
runswthscisors40 June 18 2014 at 6:48 PM

The New America.....We don't have Justice.......We have Just Isn't............

Flag Reply +18 rate up
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