Blog Archives

Tsarnaev Sentencing Sketches

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was formally sentenced to death on Wednesday. After two dozen victims and family made statements about suffering, strength, courage, and love, Tsarnaev was given the opportunity to address the court. It was the first time, except for a few words uttered at his arraignment in 2013, that we’ve heard him speak. He spoke in a soft, accented voice pausing between sentences. Whether he actually apologized is debatable. His entire statement is at the end of this post, so you can decide for yourself.

“What will be remembered,” Judge O’Toole told Tsarnaev at the conclusion of sentencing, “is the evil you have done.”

Anyway, here are the sketches.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s statement to the court:

Thank you, your Honor, for giving me an opportunity to speak. I would like to begin in the name of Allah, the exalted and glorious, the most gracious, the most merciful, “Allah” among the most beautiful names. Any act that does not begin in the name of God is separate from goodness.

 

This is the blessed month of Ramadan, and it is the month of mercy from Allah to his creation, a month to ask forgiveness of Allah and of his creation, a month to express gratitude to Allah and to his creation. It’s the month of reconciliation, a month of patience, a month during which hearts change. Indeed, a month of many blessings.

 

The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said if you have not thanked the people, you have not thanked God. So I would like to first thank my attorneys, those who sit at this table, the table behind me, and many more behind the scenes. They have done much good for me, for my family. They made my life the last two years very easy. I cherish their company. They’re lovely companions. I thank you.

 

I would like to thank those who took time out of their daily lives to come and testify on my behalf despite the pressure. I’d like to thank the jury for their service, and the Court. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said that if you do not — if you are not merciful to Allah’s creation, Allah will not be merciful to you, so I’d like to now apologize to the victims, to the survivors.

 

Immediately after the bombing, which I am guilty of — if there’s any lingering doubt about that, let there be no more. I did do it along with my brother — I learned of some of the victims. I learned their names, their faces, their age. And throughout this trial more of those victims were given names, more of those victims had faces, and they had burdened souls.

 

Now, all those who got up on that witness stand and that podium related to us — to me — I was listening — the suffering that was and the hardship that still is, with strength and with patience and with dignity. Now, Allah says in the Qur’an that no soul is burdened with more than it can bear, and you told us just how unbearable it was, how horrendous it was, this thing I put you through. And I know that you kept that much. I know that there isn’t enough time in the day for you to have related to us everything. I also wish that far more people had a chance to get up there, but I took them from you.

 

Now, I am sorry for the lives that I’ve taken, for the suffering that I’ve caused you, for the damage that I’ve done. Irreparable damage.

 

Now, I am a Muslim. My religion is Islam. The God I worship, besides whom there is no other God, is Allah. And I prayed for Allah to bestow his mercy upon the deceased, those affected in the bombing and their families. Allah says in the Qur’an that with every hardship there is relief. I pray for your relief, for your healing, for your well-being, for your strength.

 

I ask Allah to have mercy upon me and my brother and my family. I ask Allah to bestow his mercy upon those present here today. And Allah knows best those deserving of his mercy. And I ask Allah to have mercy upon the ummah of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Amin. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

 

Thank you.

 

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , , ,

Obamacare and Fair Housing

Didn’t have a chance to post yesterday’s sketches of two major Supreme Court decisions, Texas Dept. of Housing v. Inclusive Communities and King v. Burwell.

The big one, of course, was Obamacare and for the second time Chief Justice Roberts authored an opinion the saved Affordable Health Care.

I scanned the wide-shot before filling in the foreground with watercolor, and I think I like the result. Maybe I’ll continue this way, plus I’m naturally lazy and it’s less work.

And below is Justice Kennedy announcing his opinion reaffirming the Fair Housing Act ban on unintentional discrimination.

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with: , , ,

Historic Day For Gay Couples

Gay-rights lawyers were seated in the first rows close to the bench when the opinion in Obergefell v Hodges was announced by Justice Kennedy. As it became clear that they had won big, that the Court had recognized a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, smiles broke out, backs were patted, and, once the Justices had left the bench, hugs all around.

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with: , , , ,

Top Of The Ninth? Spider-Man & California Raisins

Four decisions from the Supreme Court today included an opinion, Kimble v. Marvel, that quoted Spider-Man creators Stan Lee & Steve Ditko (Amazing Fantasy, No.15, “Spider-Man”, 1962), and a takings case, Horne v. Department of Agriculture, brought by California raisin growers.

In announcing the California raisins case from the bench Chief Justice Roberts said,“The Constitution does not allow the government to take your car without just compensation if it promises to return the quarters it finds in the seats.”

The Court returns Thursday and Friday with more decisions, at which time it will truly be the bottom of the ninth with the possibility of extra innings next week.

 

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with: , , , ,

Scalia’s Gaffe, or The Goldberg Variation

No major decisions from the Supreme Court yesterday meant that a slight gaffe by Justice Scalia got a bit more ink, or is it pixels?

At the end of announcing the Court’s opinion in Kerry v. Din, Scalia referred to Justice Ginsburg, one of the dissenters, as “Justice Goldberg”. “Sorry about that, Ruth,” said Scalia who continued to smile and appear red-faced as the Court moved to admissions to the bar.

Mark Walsh has written about it here in SCOTUSblog.

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with:

Long Awaited Decision On Presidential Powers

Menachem Zivotofsky was born in 2002, the same year congress passed the Foreign Relations Authorization Act with a provision that U.S. passports listing the place of birth as Jerusalem should, upon request, also list Israel. Zivotofsky’s parents did just that, and the case had been kicking up and down the courthouse steps for years. Yesterday it concluded with a big win for the President.

It appears that Justice Kennedy’s opinion enshrines a presidential power nowhere mentioned, though implied, in the Constitution, namely recognition of foreign powers. “Recognition is a topic on which the Nation must ‘speak . . . with one voice,’” writes Kennedy.  “That voice must be the President’s.”

Justice Scalia, along with Justice Alito and the Chief Justice, dissented. Justice Thomas also dissented in part, making the decision either 6-3, 5-4 0r even 5 ½-3 ½ depending on who you listen to.

The case is Zivotofsky v. Kerry, and you can read about yesterday’s decision here and here.

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

Something Different

The plan was for me to join the panel briefly to discuss my experiences at the Supreme Court and Tsarnaev trial and then sketch the rest of the show.  News of Beau Biden’s death brought a more somber mood to the show that, along with Secretary of State John Kerry’s bicycling accident, caused me to get bumped from the show. Still, I did this sketch, and got to visit friends in New York.

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,

One Person One Vote ?

Does “one person, one vote”, a rallying cry of the Civil Rights Movement, and one that the Supreme Court enshrined in a 1964 decision in Reynolds v. Sims, mean voting districts should have the same number of people, or the same number of eligible voters?  That’s the new case, Evenwel v. Abbott, that the Court agreed to hear next term.

And also an excuse for me to exercise my inner cartoonist.

 

Posted in Supreme Court Tagged with: ,

The Verdict Is Death For Tsarnaev

Tsarnaev150515Nothing to say except I’m glad it’s over, which, of course, it isn’t. Tsarnaev150515

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , , ,

A Question From The Jury, A Laugh From Tsarnaev

Tsarnaev150514On the first full day of deliberations the jury had a question that so perplexed the judge and lawyers that clarification was sought before it could be answered.Tsarnaev150514

A first for this trial, we heard Tsarnaev laugh. While waiting for jurors to enter the courtroom to be dismissed for the day Tsarnaev, chatting with his lawyers as he usually does, let out a guffaw, then quickly checked himself.Tsarnaev150514

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , ,
BasicIllustratorFileLetter—CS
2013_Blawg100Honoree_300x300
TWITTER @courtartist

Blog Updates

Enter your name and email below to receive blog updates via email.