According to new court documents released from the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors said that the 22-year-old terrorist expressed “the opposite of remorse” in the days after his capture.
The documents, released to the public on Wednesday, were filed in conjunction with the prosecution’s attempts to keep Sister Helen Prejean from testifying on Tsarnaev’s behalf. Though Prejean was ultimately allowed to testify, prosecutors said at the time that Tsarnaev himself should make his own claims of remorse and let the jury decide if they believe him.
Tsarnaev did actually express remorse in the sentencing hearing, but he had already been convicted at that point. “I pray for your relief, for your healing,” the terrorist said, speaking to the families he destroyed in 2013.
Prejean, who has acquired a reputation for defending murderers, testified at the trial on Tsarnaev’s state of mind. She quoted him as telling her that “No one deserves to suffer like they did.”
A little late, even if those sentiments were an accurate reflection of his state of mind.
The document release comes as a result of Tsarnaev’s current campaign to get a new trial. The terrorist was sentenced to death by a federal jury last year, but his lawyers say that several of the charges for which he was convicted are no longer valid.
Among the documents was a new look into the 30-hour interrogation FBI agents conducted while Tsarnaev was convalescing in the hospital. According to the filings, Tsarnaev repeatedly asked for a lawyer during those hours, only to be denied by the agents.
“I’m exhausted. Can we do this later? You said you were gonna let me sleep. I need to throw up,” Tsarnaev reportedly said, speaking to the agents through handwritten notes.
For their part, the FBI defends the decision to keep Tsarnaev isolated from legal counsel. They cited public safety concerns – including the possibility of further attacks – as the reason to limit the terrorist’s constitutional rights. It remains to be seen whether an appellate court will agree.
Unfortunately, Tsarnaev’s death sentence is a pathway to years of appeals and legal wrangling. Every American citizen deserves due process, but this man has been duly convicted and sentenced. There is not a shred of doubt as to his culpability. The lives of hundreds of innocent people were shattered by his horrific deed. The sooner he joins his bother in whatever Islamic paradise they believe in, the better.