Judge rules Tsarnaev can view victim autopsy photos

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is pictured in this undated FBI handout photo. Credit: Reuters
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is pictured in this undated FBI handout photo.
Credit: Reuters

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can view the autopsy photographs of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Early in the hearing, U.S.Judge George O’Toole rejected the government’s claim that Tsarnaev, 20, shouldn’t be allowed to see the undoubtedly grisly pictures out of consideration for the families of the victims.

“Specifically, allowing photos of the mutilated bodies of the victims to be viewed by the man accused of mutilating them would needlessly revictimize the family members in the same way that innocent children who are photographed pornographically are revictimized whenever those photos are seen by others,” prosecutors said in a six-page court filing last month.

The ruling comes one day after the anniversary of the April 15, 2013 marathon bombings, which took the lives of two women and an 8-year-old boy.

Defense attorneys also argued that they need information Ibragim Todashev gave authorities investigating a Waltham triple homicide because it may shed light on their client’s alleged involvement in the deadly terror attack.

Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombing, was allegedly named by Todashev as the person responsible for slashing the throats of three people.

If so, the younger Tsarnaev may have been influenced by his brother, defense said.

“The fact that Tamerlan slit the throats of three helpless people, one of whom was described as a close friend, whether the defendant ever learned of it or not is clearly a very important part of this story in terms of who is the motivating, the leading, the active participant in what happened later [the bombings],” said Defense Attorney David Bruck.

O’Toole said he will examine the Todashev statement privately before ruling on whether to release it to the defense.

The judge also seemed to be leaning towards allowing Tsarnaev to have private meetings with his two sisters – without the presence of investigators – although he did not rule on that matter today.

“I don’t think the safety, security issue looms very large,” O’Toole said in response to prosecutors’ claim that the presence of an FBI agent is necessary for safety reasons.

Of a potential security threat, Bruck said “There is no more conspiracy. If the government’s theory is right, there were two people [behind the bombings] and one of them is dead.” Bruck also argued that it is critical that they are able to observe the relationship between Tsarnaev and his sister’s without investigators there, to get a sense of the family dynamic.

“It is impossible for there to be any real, meaningful communication as it is,” Bruck said, describing the communication between the three as “stilted and cautious.”

“Nothing will be learned,” he said.

However, prosecutors said “what is quite clear is that the defendant felt fee to say whatever he wanted,” and that the defense team had an “inability to control” what Tsarnaev said during the jailhouse meetings.

The next court date is set for June 18.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sep. 3: 'Houdini,' 'Colbert'…

Watch "Homeland" star Mandy Patinkin on "The Colbert Report."

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

Gossip

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth apparently love each…

Miley Cyrus may have broken off her engagement to Liam Hemsworth almost a year ago, but that doesn't mean she doesn't still have feelings for…

The Word

The Word: Charlize Theron isn't perfect, so stop…

We've been thinking a lot about famous women's bodies this week, obviously, so here's some food for thought to go with all that virtual ogling.…

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Style

5 minutes with..Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff on her Spring '15 show.