When Judy Clarke started with her opening statement in the Tsarnaev trial on March 4, the expectations were high that the defense would finally break the silence about its strategy, refute the accusations in toto or at least in part, and clarify that they were fighting for more than just life without parole, in avoidance of the death penalty.
Nothing like that happened. Clarke essentially confessed in all points and went so far to say that Dzhokhar had a pressure cooker in his bag, a point which nearly all “supporters” accordantly refute. This created a big shock and subsequent turmoil within the community, while those who ever had known that he is a misanthropic and heartless monster celebrated their triumph.
After one week has passed, the shock is not over, and the guesswork about the defense strategy continues. However, it has turned out that the expectations of a defensive and mitigation-only defense were premature. Just today we witnessed a hefty clash between Miriam Conrad and the prosecution about the interpretation of DTs twitter records. Americans should be careful to announce parties on a September 10th – it could be misinterpreted and linked to September 11th. DT fell into this trap, and the tweet is for the prosecution now evidence for his islamistic-terrorist views. It is unknown if parties on September 12th are proscribed, too.
But this anecdote is only the surface of tectonic displacements in the underground. The confidence between DT and his lawyers has not changed, the general mood is still positive, whereas the upbeat behavior of the last week of jury selection has – now that the evidence is presented and the details of the case are discussed – transformed into alert discussions and thorough studies of computer screens on behalf of DT.
From all the theories which have emerged after the “Clarke shock” about the defense strategy, the most realistic is probably jane24’s scenario that the defense is giving the government enough rope to hang itself. By waiving all resistance and cross-examinations in the first days, the prosecution has been given ample opportunity to nail down itself to a certain version of what happened and present real or forged evidence for this version. The defense strategy wants the prosecution to entangle itself in evermore contradictions, so that the cathedral of lies finally collapses under its own weight.
It appears that the prosecution has entered the trap and is eagerly gathering rope. They have summoned eyewitnesses whose statements contradict each other (if you look properly), they called witnesses whose account busts the official story with one stroke (Matt Patterson), and they have published highly questionable and obviously tampered evidence (a redacted version of the Forum video).
The question is not if the defense will attack the government’s story, but how and when. The Tsarnaev case is highly political and has been overcharged with extreme negative emotion by the media, so this is not an easy way to go. In order to save the residues of the US-American democracy which are still there, it is nevertheless necessary.
With regards to the Mainstream media, there’s also enough rope left for them. Matt Patterson has yesterday busted the official story of the Richard Family. Does any Boston journalist report or at least hint at it? Obviously not.