Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Pleads Not Guilty

by Charles C. W. Cooke

CNN is reporting that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all counts:

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 30 federal counts related to the April 15 attacks.

Tsarnaev appeared in a federal courtroom in Boston on Wednesday for an arraignment in the April 15 bombings, which killed three spectators and wounded about 260, and the slaying of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer three days later. He faces a total of 30 counts in connection with bombings and a police chase that left his brother, Tamerlan, dead.

The story continues:

When the public last saw Tsarnaev, he was climbing out of a motorboat dry-docked in the backyard of a Watertown, Massachusetts, home. He was covered in blood from bullet wounds sustained during a manhunt that brought greater Boston to a standstill.

While he lay bleeding in the motorboat covered with tarp, the younger Tsarnaev apparently scrawled his motive for his alleged deeds onto its sides.

“The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians,” it read. “I can’t stand to see such evil unpunished.”

“We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.”

“Now I don’t like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said (unintelligible) it is allowed.”

“Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.”

An easy day at the office for the defense team, then.

Tsarnaev is entitled to a fair trial, of course; that is the hallmark of civilization. But the vast gap between the evidence and the plea reminds me of a scene from the British comedy, Blackadder Goes Forth:

Edmund: Ever heard of Bob Mattingburg? 
Perkins: Oh, yes indeed, sir! A most gifted gentleman! 
Edmund: I remember Mattingburg’s most famous case, the case of the bloody knife. A man was found next to a murdered body – he had the knife in his hand. Thirteen witnesses that saw him stab the victim. When the police arrived he said, “I’m glad I killed the bastard.” Mattingburg not only got him off but he got him knighted in the New Year’s Honors list and the relatives of the victim had to pay to have the blood washed out of his jacket. 
Perkins: There is a job under the prosecution involved, sir. 
Edmund: Yes, well, look at Oscar Wilde. 
Perkins: Oh, butch, Oscar. 
Edmund: Ah, big, bearded, bonking, butch Oscar! The terror of the ladies! 114 illegitimate children, world heavyweight boxing champion, and author of the best-selling phamplet, Why I Like To Do It With Girls. And Mattingburg had him sent down for being a whoopsie.

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