DoJ, Tsarnaev plea-dealing for life imprisonment?

posted at 12:43 pm on April 30, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Somehow, I bet that the Department of Justice isn’t going to be happy that this leaked:

Preliminary talks have been under way “for the past few days” to allow Boston bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to resume providing investigators with information about the attacks in exchange for having the death penalty taken off the table, two government sources say.

Negotiations are in the very early stages, and not a sign lawyers for the 19-year-old suspect are ready to make a deal, said one source, who did not want to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the private discussions.

Allahpundit pointed out earlier that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s team just added Judy Clarke in an attempt to avoid the death penalty.  What we didn’t know was how much the prosecution might want to cooperate with that effort.  That might be the quickest payoff Clarke has ever delivered for a defendant.

Here’s the question, though — will Dzhokhar give the US anything valuable in exchange for avoiding the death penalty?  Apparently the DoJ and FBI must think so, or else they wouldn’t have been pursuing a deal “for the past few days,” assuming that CNN’s report is accurate.  If Dzhokhar is the only surviving member of the terrorist conspiracy, what good would his information be?  The only way a quick deal on this basis makes sense is if federal investigators think there is a lot more to the Boston Marathon bombing than just a couple of disaffected refugees becoming “self-radicalized.”  And since older brother and Dagestan traveler Tamerlan has been dead for more than a week, they must think that Dzhokhar has some contacts of his own to discuss.

We haven’t heard much about those students arrested ten days ago in New Bedford, have we?  One of their lawyers spoke out over the weekend to distance his clients from Dzhokhar:

Two college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who were jailed by immigration authorities the day after his capture had nothing to do with the deadly attack and had seen no hints that he harbored any violent thoughts or terrorist sympathies, a lawyer for one of them said Friday.

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, who are from Kazakhstan, were classmates with Tsarnaev at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. They appeared alongside him in a recent photograph of a group of young men visiting New York City’s Times Square. They were detained April 20 after being questioned in connection with the bombing, which had killed three people and injured more than 260 others a few days earlier.

“These kids are just as shocked and horrified about what happened as everyone else,” Kadyrbayev’s lawyer, Robert Stahl, said in a phone interview. “They can’t even fathom something like this from a kid who seemed to be a typical young college student.”

Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev have been interviewed at length, twice, by FBI agents and have cooperated fully, said Stahl, a former federal prosecutor. They are not suspects but are being held for violating their student visas by not regularly attending classes, Stahl said. They are being detained at a county jail in Boston.

And that may very well be the case.  It seems as though the feds still think Dzhokhar has some valuable intel for them — again, assuming CNN has gotten this story right — and that sounds as though this was no amateur home-grown isolated incident after all.

If the government reaches a deal with Tsarnaev to avoid the death penalty, how will Boston react?

Update: CNN wasn’t the first to this story.  The Daily Mail in the UK had it a few hours earlier, although they make it sound more clearly like a defense initiative:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyer have started very early talks about a possible deal in which the 19-year-old would cooperate in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, according to legal sources.

His defence team got a major boost yesterday with the addition of a prominent anti-death penalty lawyer who has managed to get life sentences for several high-profile clients.

If this has been going on for “a few days,” though, they must have something — or someone, or someones — to give up that is of interest to the FBI and DoJ.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Shame on them! I sincerely doubt the little creep has any info to provide and this administration just wants this clusterfk to disappear from the front page.

Blake on April 30, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Oh great – millions more of taxpayer money spent on a terrorist….

I saw we draw & quarter him on pay per view and give the money to his victims.

redguy on April 30, 2013 at 12:46 PM

In any righteous institution of penal learning – it’d still be a death sentence.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 30, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Blake on April 30, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Yes, it does.

hawkeye54 on April 30, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Can his roomie be someone who wants to love him some fresh meat?

OhEssYouCowboys on April 30, 2013 at 12:49 PM

This is a direct result from obumble’s election and the corruption, incompetence, and racism exhibited by Holder. I hope these people rot in Hell along with the criminals they support.

ultracon on April 30, 2013 at 12:49 PM

And, if Gitmo ever closes, expect more of this, with Holder’s Former Law Firm handling the cases for the Terrorists.

kingsjester on April 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM

I saw we draw & quarter him on pay per view and give the money to his victims.

redguy on April 30, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Splendid idea!

Even BO could agree to that–if it lets him collect windfall profit tax.

herm2416 on April 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM

I saw we draw & quarter him on pay per view and give the money to his victims.

redguy on April 30, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Drawing and quartering is too messy. How about a good old fashioned hanging? Millions would pay to watch.

HotAirian on April 30, 2013 at 12:51 PM

On tv the prosecutors always get the information first and then decide whether to use it and give the criminal the deal. Maybe if they show him a bunch Law & Order reruns Dzhokhar will get a better idea of how this is supposed to work.

Or just put him in the general prison population and let Darwanism take its course.

Fenris on April 30, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Hopefully, any sentence will be commuted, and this wayward soul can join the Black Panthers at some polling places, to ensure a fair vote.

I have hope for this misunderstood youngster.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Negotiations are in the very early stages, and not a sign lawyers for the 19-year-old suspect are ready to make a deal…

More keen negotiating skills from the DoJ.

Curtiss on April 30, 2013 at 12:55 PM

3 squares a day….what a deal

cmsinaz on April 30, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Why not give him a condo in Palm Beach while your at it. That’ll make him spill the beans on his jihadi supporters, right? And if that doesn’t work give him a couple Mercedes. LOL.

Holder and Obama are the biggest fools ever to hold office. Fools who will get us all killed.

fogw on April 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Well this certainly doesn’t help Bam’s ‘terrorism is dead’ narrative.

Ukiah on April 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM

All you need is waterboarding.

What is wrong with the idiot misfits in charge?! Oh, just answered my own question.

Shy Guy on April 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Only if we revoke his citizenship and have him serve life without parole in a Russian prison.

rbj on April 30, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Why isn’t this guy in GITMO?

BobMbx on April 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM

His victims didn’t have that option.

vityas on April 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Is he gay?……….if so, let the perks parade begin.

Hey, with this Boston thingy maybe he could use this to enhance his resume and get a job butchering the unborn in a Planned Parenthood clinic.

PappyD61 on April 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM

The punk is afraid of dying??

Had no problem killing.

Just now figuring out that being a martyr for Mohammed is bunk?

Let him fry.

There are other ways of obtaining information.

How about this…start talking…now…and then, if what you say turns out to be true, we’ll put in a recommendation at sentencing.

You maintain control of your suspect.

Do it the other way around…if we take the death penalty off the table will you, please, maybe, please tell us stuff…

Smart power…the adults in charge. Yep.

At the rate this is going, they’ll be a time, soon, when a lot of vets and other good decent Americans will wake up and find they are no longer proud of their country.

Bet Michelle will be, though…she’s going to Hollywood…and a lot of other places on our dime.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Or just put him in the general prison population and let Darwanism take its course.

Ideally, the public hanging would be the best option, for entertainments sake and saving taxpayer dollars. In prison, he’d probably be isolated from the general prison population due to his specific crime and notoriety.

hawkeye54 on April 30, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Fluke Holder and Obama.

They sold you to Chechnya.

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2013 at 1:01 PM

3 squares a day….what a deal

and halal to boot, to meet with his religious dietary requirements.

hawkeye54 on April 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Since they’re willing to negotiate, I’m thinking that it’s pretty clear to Judy Clarke that the DoJ isn’t very excited about going for the death penalty.

She’ll probably offer his cooperation for something much less than life in prison.

Curtiss on April 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Someone please inform the DOJ that a death sentence would keep him quiet, as well. Oh, wait don’t want to enrage the jihadi extremists who already want to kill us. My bad.

ghostwalker1 on April 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Tell you what, why don’t we just take this murdering little creep, put him against a wall, march in 6 Marines with M-16′s, then READY-AIM-FIRE-BANG!?

Problem solved.

pilamaye on April 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Allahpundit pointed out earlier that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s team just added Judy Clarke in an attempt to avoid the death penalty. What we didn’t know was how much the prosecution might want to cooperate with that effort. That might be the quickest payoff Clarke has ever delivered for a defendant.

Yay! Now Clarke will have time to help out the Benghazi whistle-blowers!

Lily on April 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

“Boston was not an intel failure” — Obama at today’s presser.

Yes, it was, and it will continue to be a failure, from you, the oaf of all oafs, your capo, Holder, and all on down, incl. the locals.

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Life without parole and in solitary confinement for the next 60 years? No newspapers, TV, radio, or computer? Yeah, I’d be O.K. with that for him. I suspect the cost would be less than all the appeals with a death penalty. There would be lots of opportunists with their hands out.

a capella on April 30, 2013 at 1:03 PM

I hope he gets raped to death, the creep.

After all the ammo, gear, all the resources at their disposal the goofs couldn’t aim good enough to kill two amateur terrorists.

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Who is surprised by this? There is no way this punk had access to any high levels of terrorist cells, which tells me the Administration wants the whole affair buried fast as possible. It’s the perfect cover! Anything he ‘reveals’ (which will be nothing) will never be known because of national security concerns. So, Obama stays safe without ‘being able’ to answer any questions about what Intel we got.

Liam on April 30, 2013 at 1:05 PM

hawkeye54 on April 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

I’d go the haram route…pork chips, lot’s of bacon…

After all…since Islam is not an issue here…according to the Administration, from Obama, Holder, Napolitano on down…then why make special arrangements for halal?

He’s just a misunderstood Chechen-American who was led astray or something in the name of Chechen nationalism or whatever.

But, Islam?

Not a factor.

So…why make it one?

There will come a time when he will do anything for an extra pull-pork sandwich.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2013 at 1:06 PM

“Boston was not an intel failure” — Obama at today’s presser.

Yes, it was, and it will continue to be a failure, from you, the oaf of all oafs, your capo, Holder, and all on down, incl. the locals.

Absolutely….all in the name of political correctness and not to offend those in the ROP, especially the Saudis and the MB.

hawkeye54 on April 30, 2013 at 1:06 PM

DoJ, Tsarnaev plea-dealing for life imprisonment?

Shocka!!

Hate to say “I toldja so …”

You know this is a death-penalty case if it goes through federal court, right?

Ed Morrissey on April 22, 2013 at 8:05 AM

With Barky’s Just-Us department? Sure …

They’ll intentionally screw the whole case up, anyway. Just watch.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on April 22, 2013 at 8:30 AM

How many times do people have to see the Indonesian and his junta operate before they get it?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on April 30, 2013 at 1:08 PM

But, Islam?

Not a factor.

So…why make it one?

There will come a time when he will do anything for an extra pull-pork sandwich.

There will be a time and place to make islam a factor if it suits the situation. At the moment the situation dictates otherwise.

hawkeye54 on April 30, 2013 at 1:08 PM

…which tells me the Administration wants the whole affair buried fast as possible…

Liam on April 30, 2013 at 1:05 PM

That’s why they like Drones. Obama doesn’t like questions and consideration, he’d rather be dictating.

Fenris on April 30, 2013 at 1:09 PM

If this has been going on for “a few days,” though, they must have something — or someone, or someones — to give up that is of interest to the FBI and DoJ.

Maybe the FBI should just take a look at the people they’ve already interviewed. They’ll be pretty embarrassed if Tsarnaev serves up someone they’ve already investigated and closed the book on.

Or maybe they’re incapable of being embarrassed.

Curtiss on April 30, 2013 at 1:11 PM

coldwarrior on April 30, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Good stuff.

OK, Homey, it times for yo to be pullin’ on dat poak o’ mines.

- Roomie

OhEssYouCowboys on April 30, 2013 at 1:11 PM

“Quick!..end this thing before people dig too deep”
E.Holder

Why even offer that? The evidence is overwhelming, why offer anything? Thats not how it works.

Mimzey on April 30, 2013 at 1:11 PM

There will come a time when he will do anything for an extra pull-pork sandwich.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2013 at 1:06 PM

That describes me, and I’m not even a crook.

Fenris on April 30, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Or maybe they’re incapable of being embarrassed.

I’m betting on this one.

hawkeye54 on April 30, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Or maybe they’re incapable of being embarrassed.

I’m betting on this one.

hawkeye54 on April 30, 2013 at 1:12 PM

A very cynical view would be that the DoJ is offering something less than the death penalty if Tsarnaev will just shut up. Wouldn’t it?

Curtiss on April 30, 2013 at 1:15 PM

I’m fine with negotiations for intel.
Tell us what we want to know, and we’ll let you pick your preferred method of execution. If not, we go with “hanging by the neck until dead”.

Dexter_Alarius on April 30, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Someone is already picking out his window dressing for the window the size of shoe box at ADX in Florence Colorado, where he will spend the rest of his natural life. Just down the hall from Eric Rudolph, Ted Kandinsky, Zacarias Moussaoui, Richard Reed and Umar Abdulmutallab.

tjexcite on April 30, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Why isn’t this guy in GITMO?

BobMbx on April 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Obama will have an easier time pardoning him from the other prison/s.

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Obama and Holder want to give this guy life. They do not want a trial. They are one with him in his hate for our Constution and way of life.
We have terrorist lovers at the heads of our government.

Proof is a plea deal and a president who doesn’t know anything about Bengazi but knows everything about a low level gay basketball player.

Up is Down and Down is Up and we as a country are majorly screwed!

Delsa on April 30, 2013 at 1:19 PM

MUST SEE and needs to be posted for comments.

News2Use on April 30, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Put the scumbag muslim in general population and have the guards “leak” that they all have to go to a mandatory staff meeting for a couple of hours.

Problem solved. He’ll get a rectal exam similar to Chris Stevens and they can parade him around the cell block after they sodomize and beat him to death. Maybe even sing some praises to allah like they did when Stevens was dragged around.

Call obama during the violation/beating and he should be able to respond sometime within 24 hrs.

You might want nonpartisan and bayam to watch out for this prisoners ‘rights” when they release him to the general population. I’m sure they’ll listen to them.

acyl72 on April 30, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Martyr, Intel Asset or Object Lesson

It seems to me that a plea bargain – if it has been offered – is all about the perception.

If we view Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a martyr, then death for him is an optimal outcome.

However if he’s viewed as an Intelligence Asset and actually knows about terror networks operating within the US of A, then keeping him alive a d ready to talk at the “drop of a bar of soap” is a pretty good outcome. Obviously, if his Intel value is no longer necessary, placing him within the general prison population will handle the disposal.

And what do we do if he is to be an object lesson for future terrorists? I’d have to say rotting in a maximum security jail is for a dedicated terrorist is probably not the end they’d be seeking.

It’s all how you look at it…

CiLH1 on April 30, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Hey, I’m all for life imprisonment for this guy–so long as they first amputate all the parts that his victims lost due to his actions.

ElectricPhase on April 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

A very cynical view would be that the DoJ is offering something less than the death penalty if Tsarnaev will just shut up. Wouldn’t it?

Cynical, yes. But not out of the question, knowing how this WH admin has operated.

hawkeye54 on April 30, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I dunno…Put him in a cell with Bradley Manning?

workingclass artist on April 30, 2013 at 1:29 PM

If the government reaches a deal with Tsarnaev to avoid the death penalty, how will Boston react?

Boston should be more than happy to provide for him for the rest of his life. They’ve already made a 100K investment.

TulsAmerican on April 30, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Please do not dignify these filthy, murdering barbarians by bothering to spell their names.

Follow Bob Belvedere’s very apt nicknames for the brothers: “Speedbump & Gilligan.”

Adjoran on April 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM

No… he needs to be put to death… OKC bomber timetable works for me…

Khun Joe on April 30, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Plea dealing? What is his bargaining chip? Admitting that he and his brother acted alone?

iceman1960 on April 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Barry O. does not want him going on public trial and spewing all his Muslim garbage for all to hear.

Cover up, cover up…starts at the top.

albill on April 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM

How many times do people have to see the Indonesian and his junta operate before they get it?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on April 30, 2013 at 1:08 PM

There is no set of facts that can possibly persuade the multiculturalists that Obama administration is not empowering the Islamists. I suspect many of them would willingly be martyred to defend their naive view of Islam.

thuja on April 30, 2013 at 1:59 PM

It’s called a “proffer,” and gives both sides a free bite at the apple. The defense proposes making a proffer of what information the defendant has to trade. The US Attorney agrees that nothing in the proffer can be used against the deft. Then the actual proffer is made verbally or in writing and the USA and the law enforcement agency decide whether it’s worth their while to pursue it. It’s obviously in the defendant’s best interest to make the info as “sweet” or appealing as possible, because if the proffer’s accepted, the deal is cut and unless the defendant is caught lying or withholding, the government has to honor its end. We did these all the time in drug cases. The biggest problem is that as time goes by, the information gets stale and less valuable. If all Jahar can say in the proffer is that he and his brother acted alone, the USA should turn it down and go to trial and ask for the needle. They’ve already got a lock on that.

mongoose on April 30, 2013 at 2:03 PM

the oaf of all oafs

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Oaf-in-office, one might say…

PXCharon on April 30, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Apparently the DoJ and FBI must think so, or else they wouldn’t have been pursuing a deal “for the past few days,” assuming that CNN’s report is accurate.

I disagree. It’s more like, sweep it under the rug as fast as you can. Then the Dems can continue with their guns and gays strategy to power.

PattyJ on April 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

I don’t have a problem with saving some time and money with this. A death penalty verdict would almost certainly never be carried out given the federal judiciary, legions of leftist lawyers, and the character and integrity of the current President and Attorney General.

True, McVeigh WAS executed, but he was native-born white guy who pretty much abandoned the appeals process, not a wondrously-diverse Muslim immigrant.

kd6rxl on April 30, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Here’s the question, though — will Dzhokhar give the US anything valuable in exchange for avoiding the death penalty?

“I know nothing. We did it all alone. Yeah, that’s right we did it all alone. And my brother made me do it. I know nothing more. That’s what you want me to say, right Mr. Holder? Where do I sign?” — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev some time in the near future.

farsighted on April 30, 2013 at 2:36 PM

No surprise here. Life in prison was on the table the second they captured this guy alive.

joejm65 on April 30, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Only way I’d ever let him plead for life is if he does so in order to testify in a case against someone like Katherine Russell or the so called “Misha.”

Otherwise, fry that towel headed bum.

eski502 on April 30, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Call me cynical, but Team SCOAMT has to ensure two things (at least in their minds):

- The immediate meme of the Lone Wolves Cell not containing more than 2 must be preserved.
- The possibility of releasing Dzhokhar to prevent a future series of terror attacks designed to force the release of Dzhokhar from continuing must be preserved.

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2013 at 2:51 PM

When the government decided not to try this guy as an enemy combatant the moderate babble on HA was all about the death penalty still being on the table. I called that line of thinking naive at best and utter BS otherwise.

Told ya so. This administration was never going to make the death penalty an option. The system you said was going to work to deliver justice failed.

Happy Nomad on April 30, 2013 at 2:57 PM

So we executed Timothy McVeigh, (Oklahoma Fed district). But in the northeast, the FED there may not hand out the same punishment. Both are acts of terror using WMD. We will see what happens.

jake49 on April 30, 2013 at 3:07 PM

If he gets life in prison without parole he is eligible for a teaching position and tenure at the Chicago University of his choice in 5 to 10.

2Tru2Tru on April 30, 2013 at 3:24 PM

We must end all muslim immigration immediately. Student visas, investor visas, refugee visas, green-card lotteries, -no more muslims. If it saves the life of a single child, we must do this.

Do it for eight-year old Martin Richard.

slickwillie2001 on April 30, 2013 at 3:28 PM

If he gets life in prison without parole he is eligible for a teaching position and tenure at the Chicago University of his choice in 5 to 10.

2Tru2Tru on April 30, 2013 at 3:24 PM

A bidding war between Florida Atlantic, Chicago, and Columbia!

slickwillie2001 on April 30, 2013 at 3:30 PM

This was Holder’s end game all long. Don’t let the kid talk without giving him “something” in exchange. That “something” was always planned to be no death sentence. Otherwise they would have had to make up a less palatable reason.

This kid will be a Muslim prison hero until the day he is freed by the Islamic caliphate that the U.S. is destined to become.

Carnac on April 30, 2013 at 3:40 PM

And in the next campaign what slogan will the democrats run on? “Martin Richard is dead and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is alive” just does not have the zing of “Bin Laden is dead and G.M. is alive.”

No Truce With Kings on April 30, 2013 at 3:45 PM

You all are such good citizens.

Ready to condemn a young man to death without seeing ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL that he committed the crime.

Unreal.

FBI says they have video of this kid not reacting at all to the first blast, setting down his backpack and walking away from it. When do WE get to see that video?

A plea deal means we never get to see it.

David2.0 on April 30, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Plea during an open and shut case? Really? Is that the purpose of plea bargaining? Is law enforcement so incompetent that they spend zillions proving what has been proven on day 3, then make a deal because the liberals have screwed up the court system so bad it isn’t a slam-dunk?

The only thing Obama would want in exchange is “now shut up and pretend you guys are Tea Party guys”. They will pretend it was for secret information (which was being provided before the DOJ Mirandized him).

Spartacus on April 30, 2013 at 4:15 PM

What’s he got to offer?

Ward Cleaver on April 30, 2013 at 4:20 PM

I’m hoping for the rack. Yes, when I think of what this bastard did to other people’s knees, I definitely vote for the rack.

Tzetzes on April 30, 2013 at 5:26 PM