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Tearful Day At Tsarnaev Trial

Tsarnaev150504Tsarnaev’s relatives, who arrived from Russia nine days ago, finally took the witness stand today and the testimony was often tearful. Tsarnaev, who  has betrayed not the slightest emotion or hint of remorse during the excruciating testimony of the bombing victims, dabbed his eyes with a tissue when his aged aunt Patimat sobbed so uncontrollably she was unable to testify.Tsarnaev150504

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Tsarnaev150504I pity his family, but I’m not sure I have any pity for Dzhokhar.

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During The Break

Tsarnaev150430Last Thursday, after lawyers in the Boston Marathon bombing trail spent over an hour meeting in chambers, Judge O’Toole announced that we had a sick juror and would recess till Monday.

I immediately made plans to secure a bicycle and take advantage of the opportunity to explore Boston, but it was not to be. I was called back to the courthouse for the arraignment of an ex-FBI charged with perjury in the Whitey Bulger trial.FitzpatrickOne consolation, a group of musicians started playing on the main floor of the courthouse. I did this sketch from above.bSketch150430_musicians

Finally done with the arraignment, I headed to the hotel anticipating a quiet evening, maybe dinner with a friend, before flying back to Baltimore the next morning. But no, instead I had to rush off to Newark for the guilty plea Friday morning of Gov. Christie ally – not Kirstie Alley –  David Wildstein in the Bridgegate scandal.Wildstein Bridgegate Plea

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If it sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not. I really love this last minute stuff.

 

 

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Tsarnaev Defense Began . . .

Tsarnaev150429. . . two days ago, on Monday, but I was in DC for the same sex marriage arguments at the Supreme Court. I returned to the Boston courtroom today.

Until now the focus of the defense had been almost exclusively on Dzhokhar’s older brother Tamerlane.Tsarnaev150429Today we heard from a paramedic who worked on Tamerlan shortly before he died who testified the the older Tsarnaev was combative, even when mortally wounded. And then from a paramedic who treated Dzhokhar after he climbed out of the boat and surrendered. She said Dzhokhar put up no fight.Tsarnaev150429After that it was a string of character witnesses – teachers and friends who knew a different Tsarnaev than the one sitting in the courtroom today. All of them were on the stand a very short time.

So it wasn’t an uninteresting day, but nothing unexpected. I’ll just post the rest of today’s drawings and call it a day.

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Humanity, And Lack Of It

Tsarnaev150423The humanity of victims caring for each other in the middle of the bombing mayhem contrasted with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s complete disregard and seeming lack of compassion as he just sat there. The last witness to testify yesterday as the government concluded its death penalty case was Steven Woolfenden. Steve was in front of the Forum restaurant with his son Leo in a stroller when the second bomb went off. They were right next to the Richard family as they tried to move away from the first bomb blast. Tsarnaev brushed past Woolfenden after he dropped his bomb and hurried away.

After the blast, Woolfenden, his leg blown off and his son taken to an ambulance, saw Denise Richard bent over her dying son Martin’s eviscerated body. He put a hand on her shoulder. She turned and asked him if he was okay.

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Tsarnaev Death Penalty Trial, Day Two

Tsarnaev150422More heartbreaking testimony today, from the family of MIT officer Sean Collier and Lingzi Lu’s aunt. The jury also heard from two more victims who suffered serious injuries. One, a ballroom dancer who lost a leg, glared at Tsarnaev as she left the witness stand.

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The government also introduced into evidence the video still of Tsarnaev flipping the bird that was shown to the jury during opening statement. That led to the defense getting in the entire video of Tsarnaev in the courthouse holding cell. It shows the defendant primping his hair and mugging for the camera as he first flashes two fingers in a Vee and then the now infamous single digit.Tsarnaev150422

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He’s Starting To Look Like A Monster

 

 

Tsarnaev150421I remember thinking that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appeared very cocky at his arraignment back in July, 2013. Well, that impression was confirmed today when the prosecution in its opening displayed a photo of Tsarnaev giving the finger to the camera in his holding cell at the courthouse the day of his arraignment.

Tsarnaev150421Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadine Pellegrini displayed the photo of Tsarnaev along side smiling photos of his five dead victims. “This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,” she told the jury, “unconcerned, unrepentant and unchanged. Without remorse, he remains untouched by the grief and the loss he caused.”

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Tsarnaev150421The testimony today was painful and heartbreaking. Here are some sketches of the witnesses.

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That Magnificent Man In His Flying Machine

GyrocopterWhen I was a kid I loved to draw flying machines – submarines too – just like the gyrocopter – also called autogyro or gyroplane – that Florida mailman Doug Hughes landed on the west lawn of the Capitol on Wednesday. His flight in the ultralight contraption from Gettysburg to Washington, DC to deliver 535 stamped letters to the members of congress calling for campaign finance reform has inspired tweets calling him a hero.

GyrocopterA slender 61-year old, Hughes appeared before magistrate judge Deborah Robinson in the U.S. Postal uniform he wore for the flight. He wore earphones in the courtroom – usually provided when an interpreter is needed – possibly because of hearing loss after flying two hours with a lawnmower motor strapped to his back. At one point he attempted to speak directly to judge Robinson, but was told to let his lawyer do the talking.

After promising to return to court on May 8, Hughes was allowed to return home to Florida where he will be on home detention.

 

 

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Tsarnaev Guilty On All Thirty Counts

Tsarnaev150408I think it took close to thirty minutes for the court clerk to read all 99 answers on the thirty count verdict form. Enough time for two sketches, though done from a low resolution video monitor in the overflow courtroom since seating in the actual courtroom would have provided only a view of Tsarnaev from the back. Very frustrating.Tsarnaev150408Tsarnaev showed no emotion as the verdict was read. Most of the time he looked down at some papers, occasionally he shifted awkwardly bringing a hand up to his face or slipping it in his pocket for an instant. He has a strange way of movement, especially when he comes into the courtroom, swinging his shoulders up and down, side to side. I guess you’d say he was strutting.Tsarnaev150408

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Three Faces Of Dzhokhar

Tsarnaev150330We only see Tsarnaev from the back when seated in the courtroom, so I did these sketches from the video monitors in the overflow room.

Tsarnaev150330I’ll probably do this same thing when the verdict is announced in order to capture his reaction, or lack of it.

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Deliberations On Tsarnaev’s Guilt Begin

Tsarnaev SketchWith the outcome all but certain the prosecution in the Boston Marathon bombing trial was noticeably relaxed in the courtroom this morning before the jury assembled to begin deliberations.Tsarnaev150407There wasn’t a whole lot to do but wait. Tsarnaev sketchA US marshal, we’ll call him Steve, stood near two large Ellsworth Kelly paintings guarding the entrance to courtroom 9. And I had a chance to finish a little sketch I started on St. Patrick’s day.Tsarnaev sketch

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