What I Want For Christmas

Dear Santa,

As you can see me when I’m sleeping and know when I’m awake and all that sort of thing, you likely already know some of the bigger things topping my list of Christmas wishes this year: world peace, an end to hunger, a new trial for Dzhokhar…

Wait, maybe I never mentioned that last item. If not, I’d like to do so now as you will need extra time to pull this one off.

You see, Santa, this young man, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, though certainly no angel before, was falsely accused and wrongly convicted of a terrible crime that happened in Boston, Massachusetts during the running of the annual marathon.

He is believed to hold to a religion that scares the daylights out of lots of people and that fact was used against him.

He has been badly treated and is suffering and in pain. Since you can also see him when he’s sleeping and know when he’s awake, you know this is so.

And you also have to know that he won’t ask this for himself. You see how he has always put others first and that he is still doing this, even when it hurts him.

My heart aches for this boy, Santa. I love him as if he were my own son. And I am not the only one. There are many in this country and in this world that love Dzhokhar and know what has happened to him – and really to his whole family – is a tragedy that can and must be made right!

If you are going to be successful in granting my Christmas wish for a new trial for Dzhokhar, a judge is going to have to write a document ordering one. More than one judge has already expressed the opinion I have shared in this letter so finding someone who will order a new trial is possible.

I offer the following wording as a suggestion of what this order should say. I used as my template another order, written by another judge, when another murder case in Boston played on peoples’ fears and resulted in a wrongful conviction back in 1992.

In that case, unsupported by the facts, the prosecution focused on fears of gang violence to get a conviction. At Dzhokhar’s trial, again unsupported by the facts, the prosecution inflamed fears of Muslims and terrorists to get a conviction, since many people now wrongly believe the two are one and the same.

And that leads me to my last Christmas wish, Santa: maybe while you’re at it, you could fix that problem too.

Sincerely, your friend







In the circumstances of a terrorism and murder trial wherein it is reasonable to believe that the entire pool of available jurors were exposed to relentless and sensational media coverage of the crime and its aftermath, including prejudicial assumption of guilt of the defendant, and who were either themselves victims, closely related to victims, or negatively affected by traumatic events directly connected to the crime and its aftermath, and where bias was admitted by a majority of potential jurors on questionnaires which they completed in voir dire, these prospective jurors were subsequently questioned as to whether or not they could set aside their bias and judge this case on fact alone. This was done in error as jurors had already admitted to bias, in the extreme in many instances. A reasonable assumption of tainting of the entire jury pool should have been concluded and a change of venue granted.

In addition, prior to trial, prosecution claimed and made widely known, including to the defense, the existence of footage of the accused clearly placing a bomb at the marathon, which later detonated causing great bodily injury and death. Also prior to trial, and before the original footage was ever shown, a reenactment video was produced by National Geographic and distributed for public viewing, further cementing in the minds of the general public, including any potential jurors, the fact of guilt of the accused. However, no original footage was ever produced at trial. This is more than problematic and raises grave concerns of prosecutorial misconduct.

Thirdly, expert testimony by Michael Levitt on multiple topics for which, by his own admission, he is not an expert, is further cause for scrutiny. In the view of this court this illustrates a clear abuse of judicial discretion in allowing his testimony. Concerning error in admitting Michael Levitt’s testimony on radical Islam and the process and proof of radicalization, given that no proof of radicalization of the defendant was established, this testimony nevertheless had a toxic element that made an unspoken appeal to fears that all Muslims can become easily radicalized jihadis, terrorists ready and waiting to strike at any place at any time and thus gave rise to a doubt as to whether the poison might not have infected the trial. Stated another way the extraneous evidence from an unqualified expert may have had a gripping quality and even if the jury had been asked to disregard it, the request would have been tantamount to asking the jury to ignore that an elephant has walked through the jury box.

Given that actual proof of the defendant’s radicalization was never established, the latitude allowed in this regard should be significantly narrower at retrial. Given that actual and conclusive footage was never produced at trial showing the accused taking action with direct connection to the detonation of a bomb at the marathon, claims as to the existence of such footage should be disallowed at retrial.

The judgments are reversed, and the verdicts are set aside.

So ordered.

Song: My Grown-Up Christmas List
Written by Linda Thompson & David Foster
Performed By Amy Grant

Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies
Well I’m all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I’m not a child but my heart still can dream

So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown-up Christmas list
Nor for myself but for a world in need:

No more lives torn apart
And wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree
Well heaven surely knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal a hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart
And wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list

What is this illusion called
The innocence of youth?
Maybe only in our blind belief
Can we ever find the truth

No more lives torn apart
And wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
Everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list
This is my only lifelong wish
This is my grown-up Christmas list


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.


2 thoughts on “What I Want For Christmas”

  1. This is awesome !! Something we all wish for that we want to come true. Something that you have clearly shown that can and should happen, and maybe will happen. Righting the wrong for Jahar must happen, and you may just be the one to accomplish it. Way to go Lynn!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s