Thursday was a short day at the Tsarnaev trial last week as both sides met with the judge in chambers to discuss whether and to what extent Sister Helen Prejean will be allowed to testify. For much of the time nothing happened in the courtroom, though many tweets were read and sent. The previous day’s witness was brought back to the stand to complete his testimony, but that’s all.
I profited of the free time to ride a Hubway bike to the North End where I had an espresso and Italian ice and did the little sketch below.
There was a short delay this morning as the court set up a video conference call so that a Tsarnaev relative could testify from Kazakhstan. The government wanted the judge to tell the jury that the oath taken by the witness was meaningless since there would be no way to pursue perjury charges in Kazakhstan. Judge O’Toole declined for now.
Not a lot happening at the Boston Marathon bombing trial today. We heard from the roommate of Tamerlan’s future wife, a couple of friends of Dzhokhar’s, the owner of a Russian bookstore, a Russian psychiatrist who treated Tsarnaev’s father, a wrestling coach and a Princeton professor who is an expert in all things Chechen.
Tsarnaev’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.
I pity his family, but I’m not sure I have any pity for Dzhokhar.
Last 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.One consolation, a group of musicians started playing on the main floor of the courthouse. I did this sketch from above.
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.
If it sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not. I really love this last minute stuff.