Tag Archives: death penalty

Saint Judy

Judy Clarke, defense counsel

Judy Clarke, defense counsel

Judy Clarke, criminal defense counsel for the self-confessed “Boston Bomber,” is considered “Saint Judy” by many, myself included.

I got to know Judy years ago as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”).

Judy is against executions because, she says, “A civilized society shouldn’t legalize homicide.”

Most recently, consistent with this objective, she fought valiantly to save the life of Mr. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was 19 at the time of the bombing.

The jury decided to kill Dzhokhar instead.

Those who supported Mr. Tsarnaev’s death said an “eye for an eye.”  Some who lost their limbs might, by that logic, have preferred to rip off Dzhokhar’s young legs.

The jury was hardly reflective of its citizen peers.  A poll of the State of Massachusetts showed only 19 % favored death. The rest favored life in prison.  This was the sentiment in a State that hasn’t allowed executions since 1984.  But the U. S. Justice Department wanted to execute Dzhokhar.  You should understand that every juror in that federal prosecution that voted for death had to confirm in open court that they could vote to execute Dzhokhar if he was found guilty; those potential jurors who couldn’t embrace execution as a sentence were dismissed. Continue reading