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Boston Bombing News: Practice For The Trial?

The final pretrial status conference in the case of USA v. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is later this week.  This will be unlike the other nine status conferences in this case, simply because the defendant will be present after seventeen months of solitary confinement away from the public eye.  Some have waited for this day, others have dreaded it.

I certainly hope that Dzhokhar is able to sit quietly with no reaction whatsoever, no facial expressions.  Although he is young and slightly prone to spontaneous reactions.  I would think his attorneys have gone over and over this with him, hoping not to fuel unwarranted and prejudicial public speculation.  We can all recall the brouhaha over the “smirk” during his July, 2013, appearance and his “detrimental” remark in February of this year to his sister that the FBI agent overheard.  The prosecution, law enforcement and media will take anything they can get and twist it to their advantage.

But who else will show up to this last conference?  Dzhokhar’s sisters, Ailina and Bella, should be there to show their support.  Ms Ortiz will most certainly be there, front row of course.  And behind her an obvious show of law enforcement, FBI or whoever all those suits were at a previous conference.  In addition, there must be much more security this time, for both the public and Dzhokhar himself.

Does this final conference justify the attendance of all attorneys?  Will Miriam Conrad be present?  I imagine she will be there only if the agenda requires her to do so.  How about survivors?  I would hope all survivors would stay away from this conference, especially if they are to be witnesses during the trial.  However there may be a few who are not prospective witnesses, but who have their own motive for attending this conference.

There will surely be a lot media at this conference too.  I wonder how many media personnel this courthouse will hold?

Will O’Toole preside like he normally does or will he help make this conference into a circus?  I’m willing to bet it will be the latter, considering the embarrassing Mr. O’Toole’s performance in this case thus far.  I’m not sure they will have much to discuss at this conference, as O’Toole has denied almost every motion filed by the defense.  Looks to me like the prosecution is sitting right about where they want to be, and are ready for trial.  Yes, my thought is this Thursday’s event may not be like the previous status conferences, but feels more like they’re dangling a carrot in front of a horse (dangling Dzhokhar in front of the world).

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