Citing Confidential Information Carmen Ortiz Appears to Recommit to Seeking Dzhokhar’s Execution

Bill and Denise Richard, parents of one child killed and one maimed in the Boston Marathon attack, have a BoGlo op-ed calling for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to receive life without parole. They specifically cite the importance of letting survivors set the narrative of the attack, not Dzhokhar, who will have the opportunity to expose some of his motivations in the sentencing phase due to start next week.

For us, the story of Marathon Monday 2013 should not be defined by the actions or beliefs of the defendant, but by the resiliency of the human spirit and the rallying cries of this great city. We can never replace what was taken from us, but we can continue to get up every morning and fight another day. As long as the defendant is in the spotlight, we have no choice but to live a story told on his terms, not ours. The minute the defendant fades from our newspapers and TV screens is the minute we begin the process of rebuilding our lives and our family.

Carmen Ortiz responded, citing the need to keep secrets in her explanation for why the government would still — seemingly — continue its pursuit of a death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The attorneys in a criminal case are legally bound to keep many matters relating to the case confidential, even from the people most affected by the crimes.

I therefore cannot comment on the specifics of the statement.

A cynic might think Ortiz was unswayed by the Richards’ plea because she judges an execution will help her own career, even if polls show Massachusetts residents oppose the death penalty for Tsarnaev.

Still, I couldn’t help but wonder why she’s citing confidentiality when the next phase of the trial will presumably expose more of the details on the case the government would prefer to keep secret? What confidential reason does Ortiz — or the government more generally — have to want those details to come out?

12 replies
  1. galljdaj says:

    Seems clear to me, The Truth.

    Obviously, the Peoples we destroy in every imaginable way, all have the desire and right to ‘fight back’!

    The ‘fight back’ is the truth that lil ortiz is prostrating!

  2. scribe says:

    Call me a cynic, but she needs a kill. After killing Aaron Swartz (OK, driving him to kill himself), she needs a clean capital case kill to cement her claim to that sweet, sweet seat on the federal bench and a paycheck for life. Or maybe the governorship – she was being mentioned for that gig before Swartz.
    As it stands now, her standing in the legal community of Boston, and more generally Mass., is colored by the pursuit of Aaron Swartz. That, as you will recall, ran right through the treasured illusions of the elite – that maybe one of these genius boffins we cultivate at Harvard and MIT will, from time to time, get beyond the bounds of what society deems allowable, but we tolerate that because (a) more often than not they come up with inventions and ideas that we can make loads of money off and (b) it allows us (the elite) to keep the illusion of Boston and Mass. as a place friendly to innovation and a big small town where a bit of weirdness is OK. As long as you’re neither working class nor an immigrant/minority. Those, the elite stomps on resolutely.
    Hounding Swartz to his death showed Ortiz to be the relentless kind of thug our police agencies are infested with, but without the good grace to know when to back off a good-earner/member of the patriciate.
    So, this is her way of sucking up to TPTB to advance her career.
    That, and the secrets she wants to keep are obviously some inconvenient truths about how badly the police agencies fucked up in missing these two kids before, and immediately after, the bombing. Compare, e.g., the gyrocopter mailman flying all the way from Gettysburg to the Capitol lawn unnoticed. Major fuckups there that no one will ever want to talk about.

    • P J Evans says:

      I’d just about bet that some of the secrets Ortiz wants to keep hidden involve three-letter agencies ‘recruiting’ informers by illegal means.

  3. TarheelDem says:

    Maybe, it’s just my Southern background here, but when exactly does Dzokiar Tsarnaev tell is story himself, not through his government-appointed lawyer. Because, as every Southern sheriff knows, dead men tell no tales.

    The most confidential part of every prosecutor is knowingly getting the win without justice being served and knowing that the judge gave a pass on the prosecution testimony. And the government-appointed defense as well.

    For all the dramatic evidence, were the dots actually connected? My sense from reading the coverage is “no more than necessary to create a media narrative”.

  4. wallace says:

    Carmen Ortiz. The mere mention of her existence in my universe elicits spasms of projectile vomiting.

  5. elise bowen says:

    update your page: it’s 2015 ♥
    Copyright © Emptywheel 2013. Design by Millenial Labs . All Rights Reserved.

  6. bmaz says:

    Ortiz is rather loathsome; that said, it has long been clear that the death call was made at DOJ Main and not by Ortiz. I don’t doubt she agrees with it as a perceived feather in her cap, but don’t think she has the final word at all.

  7. Saul Tannenbaum says:

    “Dzokhar needs to be killed because of secret reasons.”

    There are really two ways to read that.

    1) It’s not enough to kill Americans overseas with drones for secret reasons, we need to bring that policy into criminal courts

    2) I got nothing for the Richards, a simple “no comment” sounds heartless, so I’ll make an allusion to secrets that justify the execution.

  8. reliably says:

    With Judy Clarke as his attorney, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is never going to tell his side of the story. She’s successful in getting life rather than death for her high-profile clients, but she’s equally successful — either unintentionally or intentionally (I have no idea) — at obliterating any opportunity to resolve unanswered questions about the crime or the investigations. The Rudolph and Moussaoui trials were frustrating; the Unabomber unsuccessfully tried to fire her when she starting plotting an insanity defense.

    So no surprise, then, that Dzhokhar pleads guilty despite the remarkable lack of evidence against him. His fingerprints are nowhere; the video of him planting the bomb — which so many people claim to have seen — doesn’t appear to exist at all. The FBI, at one point in the investigation, has to fly to Florida to kill an associate of the brothers. You’d think those facts would be ammunition for a more thorough examination of the events that led up to the explosions, but no such luck.

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