“Before you give up, think of the reason why you held on so long.”
I read that on Twitter last night. I continue to be amazed by the unexpected wisdom of youth. The “tweeter” looks to be around Jahar’s age. Her name is Taneka Degroff and I thank her for recognizing a quote worth sharing.
Those words spoke to me in a powerful way because, you see, I too am having doubts after Jahar’s “confession” in court the other day.
It’s not that I’m afraid to be wrong; I’ve been wrong before. It’s not that I’m afraid I’ll be laughed at for my position and how long I ended up maintaining it; I’ve been laughed at before. I will be the first to say I was wrong, misguided by my compassion for Jahar – if you show me the evidence.
But so far, no one has.
Common sense says present your best case in the first round. The only time I can see departing from that wisdom would be when the strength of location-based bias makes the walls of the fortress unable to be breached.
In the Boston Marathon bombing trial, the prosecution looked at the walls that Boston bias built and felt safe behind them. They simply knew they didn’t need to present real evidence, thus no real evidence was presented.
The defense, on the other hand, surveyed the walls of bias and determined they were just too high to climb. Having made that decision, they never left the ground.
Apparently, both sides were right. Both sides got the verdict they worked for.
At sentencing, a soft-spoken and, in my opinion, a very brave Jahar said “Immediately after the bombing, which I am guilty of – if there’s any lingering doubt about that, let there be no more. I did do it along with my brother…”
Those words are still sending shock waves through me and anyone else following this case. We are feeling the impact of Judy Clarke’s “It was him” all over again.
Carmen Ortiz was there to express her dissatisfaction immediately after sentencing with a statement of her own: “He didn’t renounce terrorism. He didn’t renounce violent extremism.”
I noticed that too. While Carmen believes that omission to be proof of Jahar’s insincerity, I say
ONE CANNOT RENOUNCE WHAT ONE HAS NEVER EMBRACED…
So where does that leave us?
The defendant pleads not guilty at arraignment.
We have trial #1: The guilt phase.
His attorney says “It was him” in opening statements.
No evidence pointing to the defendant is presented.
The defendant does not take the stand in his own defense.
The defendant is found guilty.
We have trial #2: The sentencing phase.
The prosecution tells the jury:
DP verdict: Jahar goes to Federal Death Row in Indiana.
LWOP verdict: Jahar goes to Supermax in Colorado.
Supermax prison in Colorado is the most horrific facility in which to serve out a life sentence.
Jahar would be there under SAMs and in 24 hour a day isolation.
He is just 21 years old.
Prosecution tries to downplay the truth of conditions/life for Jahar in the Colorado Supermax.
Remorse is a mitigator of the death penalty.
Jahar does not take the stand to plead for his life.
Jahar receives the death penalty.
June 24: Formal sentencing; Death penalty cannot be changed.
Jahar can speak but is not required.
Nothing Jahar says will change the outcome.
Jahar confesses to & apologizes for the crime.
Jahar offers no explanation for why crime was committed.
Judge officially sentences Jahar to death.
Jahar is inexplicably sent to Colorado facility anyway – but we are told he is not in the Supermax.
Supporters believe the confession to be a result of government pressure &/or threats designed to get his supporters to be quiet and go away and let Jahar die, alone and forgotten and the truth to die with him.
Have I left anything out?