David, Goliath and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

“Because of all I have been through and how it has shaped me, I am unafraid to stand up in support of you and advocate on your behalf.”

I’ve wanted to write a critique of the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for awhile now. Last night on Twitter, MandyTheMuse said “It truly was painful to see acceptance of guilt without evidence of it.” Her words echo so completely my own sentiment about the trial.

I felt so helpless, drowning in outrage, as Judy Clarke said “It was him…” I threw up my hands as she threw in the towel, exclaiming “Well, that’s all folks, might as well go straight to jury deliberation and then sentencing.”

All that buildup about what a great attorney, what a real fighter she was supposed to be… well in five words or less (three to be exact) she sure let the air out of my balloon!

Proverbs 24:10 says “If you are slack in the day of distress, your strength is limited.”

“Because of all I have been through and how it has shaped me, I am unafraid to stand up in support of you and advocate on your behalf.”

One of the decisions the defense made that I felt was a huge miscalculation was the decision not to question the government’s witnesses. One by one, they took the stand to tell the terrible details of their suffering when the bombs detonated. As I followed the trial on Twitter and read the horrific accounts relayed by media present in the courtroom, the rest of Twitterdom seemed silent, holding its breath.

Somehow, I could not remain silent. I felt like a horrible person for doing it, but I could not refrain from asking in real time why the defense was just letting witness after witness tell their story and step down. I think I tweeted something along the lines of “OK we know what happened. It’s been in the media for months. This trial is supposed to be about who and how. When are we going to get to that?”

In my opinion, we never did.

The great thing about a blog is that you can say anything you want. The bad thing about a blog is that you can say anything you want.

“Because of all I have been through and how it has shaped me, I am unafraid to stand up in support of you and advocate on your behalf.”

If I had been Jahar’s defense attorney in the courtroom that day, I would have questioned each and every government witness without so much as an “I’m sorry for your loss” before I began. While the tears were still wet on the faces, I would have calmly, purposefully asked what, if anything the witness saw relative to the actions of the accused sitting before them. Each witness would have been asked the same pointedly worded questions, in the same order, in the same evenly measured voice, with the same innocent look on my face.

They would have hated me. I would not have cared.

In my opinion, this is what good defense attorneys do. Testifying to what you suffered does not equate to testifying as to what my client did or did not do to cause that suffering. I am sorry for their loss but I would not have said it that day, in that setting.

“Because of all I have been through and how it has shaped me, I am unafraid to stand up in support of you and advocate on your behalf.”

And about that video, you know, the one that was the slam-dunk to end all slam-dunks: the video that showed Jahar setting down the back pack which contained the second bomb. Yeah – that one

One of my favorite shows used to be Columbo. Peter Falk played the bumbling detective who always brilliantly solved the case after annoying the hell out of those he hounded for answers. His bumbling style made everyone write him off as someone who would never, ever figure out what they were hiding.

I would have played that video over and over and Columbo’d my way through it, time and again trying to get the government witness to point out to me CLEARLY the exact point in the video where it shows Jahar drop the backpack that exploded in the second blast.

I would have played the stupid, I’m-so-sorry-but-I-just-don’t-see-it-yet-can-we-run-that-once-more card until Judge O’Toole was ready to throw me out on my ear. By the time that happened the jury would have gotten the point that a video showing someone’s shoulder dip slightly is not the same as a video that shows someone set down a backpack that explodes a short time later and kills and maims innocent people, including a child, as the final paragraph of every article by the media reminded us.

Then there would have been the test for color-blindness because white is not the new black.

“Because of all I have been through and how it has shaped me, I am unafraid to stand up in support of you and advocate on your behalf.”

Now, let’s talk about David and Goliath and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It will help if you read the Bible story for yourself in 1 Samuel. Start with chapter 16, for that is where the story of David really begins, though he does not meet up with Goliath until chapter 17.

Now that you’ve read all that, here’s the takeaway:

All the soldiers who should have been able to fight Goliath, because that is what soldiers are trained to do, were unable because they were afraid. It took David, who had the fire of God in him but was not a soldier at all, to do it.

How does that relate to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?

Obviously, Goliath is the government, the prosecution. In my opinion, those soldiers who should have been willing and able to fight a loud-mouthed, arrogant giant but were too afraid, is the defense.

Who will play David in the appeals process? That remains to be seen.

“Because of all I have been through and how it has shaped me, I am unafraid to stand up in support of you and advocate on your behalf.”

Those words should look familiar to anyone who has been reading my blog from the beginning. They were taken from the first letter I wrote to Jahar.

I wish the defense would have understood, as I do, that anything you hear over and over in the exact same way tends to stay in your mind. So does the last thing you hear.

“Because of all I have been through and how it has shaped me, I am unafraid to stand up in support of you and advocate on your behalf.”

The defense rests? I am just getting started.

Published by: iwasleah10years

Winston Churchill said no crime is so great as daring to excel. I am ready to take that dare. An unexpected and somewhat unexplainable compassion for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has drawn me out of my comfort zone.


15 thoughts on “David, Goliath and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev”

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    “White is NOT the new black” Beautifully written, powerfully expressed, the comparison with C.S. Lewis is most apt.

  2. Lynn, I thought for those who wish to do something tangible to help Dzhokhar, this petition may help. It will be sent to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The petition asks for the SAM’s to be modified allowing Dzhokhar’s extended family access to him through mail, visits and phone calls. If successful it will give Dzhokhar more to do, more to look forward to and maybe more hope. It’s just a first step to helping him in this small way. It will need many many signatures in order to have a chance. Each time someone signs it and makes a comment, Loretta Lynch will receive an email with the signature and the comment. Please everyone sign it and share it with all you know, far and wide.

  3. Somewhere God did open a window for Dzhokhar much like He slowly, over many months, opened my eyes to the fact that I was not alone, crying in the dark for this child’s pain. He gave me a tour of many destinations where I would come across people thinking and feeling exactly like I did. So…..I’m not totally odd! I guess it’s just a matter of time before that window opens in front of Dzhokhar’s eyes. They say God doesn’t give you more than you can bear. I believe that – and I pray for Dzhokhar. Thank you for caring; thank you for sharing.

    1. I never tire of hearing from others who have been burdened by God for Jahar as I have. Our stories are all so similar that it is in no way a coincidence but instead is clear proof to me that a divine move of God is taking place. So glad you are part of what God is doing!

      1. I love what you say here and I know it’s true. I have never in my life felt this way or have been so profoundly
        affected by a news story about a total stranger in another country, but as I watched law enforcement ambush, with a hail of bullets, a teenager who was severely wounded, traumatized, exhausted, scared, thirsty, and then watched ordinary people waving flags and cheering for police, something happened deep inside of me. My heart began to ache and it hasn’t stopped. I knew that something was happening that was terribly wrong. I believe that God did have a hand in that and for some reason picked us particular people to go on this journey knowing we would see it through to the end. Knowing that compassion and mercy can go a long way, and is desperately lacking in too many others. I think it’s miraculous that Dzhokhar survived death in Watertown, survived death in the boat, survived death in the hospital, and I believe he will survive death at the hands of the US gov. God is definitely with Dzhokhar and will continue to be with him.

      2. Well said! My heart and mind took the same journey as yours beginning on the day of the bombing and ended up at the same destination. It is challenging to live with the level of pain that accompanies this caring about Jahar and what happens to him but God has chosen warriors who can shoulder the burden and when we can’t He takes it from us! Again, I am so glad you found my blog! God bless you! Lynn

  4. Lynn, you are a beautiful writer. Your words can be felt so deeply. I agree with all you have to say and I believe that more and more people are coming to the conclusion that Dzhokhar did not have a fair trial or anything close to it and are wondering why. You are so right that this is just the beginning. Thank you

    1. I am grateful for your comment. I count you among those in this country with a beating heart and eyes that are still wide open. Thank you for caring about Jahar.

  5. Powerful words…gets tears in my eyes and my heart and soul start to breathe again because I know Lynn has every intention to show and prove she will be a voice for Jahar because he has none. I love this story. Reminds me of what life is really about…forgiving and moving on. Powerful story Lynn. Thanks for sharing what is truly in your heart….

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It really helps me keep going with this. Sometimes I feel like the voice crying in the wilderness and I wonder if I am really having any effect at all.

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