tv The Cycle MSNBC May 15, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
to the judge's clerk who will read it outloud. the whole process will probably take i don't know, ten to 15 minutes once everything is ready the jury has to come in and be seated and tsarnaev will be there and lawyers will be in place and judge will direct the clerk to read and he reads a three-part form. you won't be able to tell what the verdict is as it goes along. you can't predict the verdict as he reads this form outloud. you have to wait for the end. now the reason this form is so long is to make sure that the jury ticks off the right legal requirements that entitle them to consider the death penalty they have to find a number of factors to satisfy the legal requirements. after they do that, it's still up to the jury which punishment to choose whether they choose the death penalty or life without the possibility of release. the form is to guide them but it doesn't give them the answer. so my guess is -- i don't know how long it will take the clerk to read it but i would think
once court actually starts and it hasn't yet, it would take ten to 15 minutes before they finally read the last entry on the form, which is what the penalty will be. one thing we have to say these are the possibleout comes, they are going to choose the death penalty, they have to be unanimous. it could also be if it wants unanimous for life but if it's not unanimous, this is unlike a regular trial in the guilt phase, if it's not unanimous they can't agree one way or the other, that's over and the judge will automatically sentence him to life without parole. so the only way the jury can sentence him to death is if it's unanimous. >> pete, what happens once the jury is announced? is that the end of the road here? >> yes, that's the end of the trial. he'll be remanded to custody in either event because he's already been found guilty. he's going to prison. if he is found -- if he's given
a life sentence at some point he'll be transferred to the super max prison. if he's given the death sentence he'll go back to fort def vinz and appeals will take at least a decade. the law requires at least one appeal then the lawyers can file additional appeals and they have lots of issues i'm sure they'd like to appeal on including the one they litigated repeatedly, they said this trial should never have been held in boston. it would be a long time he would be transferred to the federal prison in terre haute indiana, the federal death row. >> tell us about the factors they argue makes the death penalty property here. >> reporter: they say it meets the legal requirements that this was a crime carried out to be a terrorist attack. it was planned well in advance that he chose a particular vulnerable place in order to make a big public splash and
wanted to send this message and showed no remorse. that he placed his bomb near children andespecially vulnerable and shot an officer in the line of duty. for all of those reasons and many more they say he should get the death penalty. >> ronan farrow is outside of the courthouse for us. you've been seeing a lot of the action a lot of detail that's been happening inside and outside the court. describe what you've been seeing. >> reporter: it's been 14 hours give or take of deliberations, 61 days in court for this jury. this has been a long hall. there's an atmosphere of anticipation here right now within 20 minutes they should begin the process pete mentioned of reading this long very involved verdict slip and seeing exactly how the results should go throughout these intri cat sections from beginning to end. on the ground on the other side
of the courthouse we're right out back this is the back door you see behind me. there are pro testers assembled on both sides of this issue this becoming a rallying cry for people passionate about capital punish. . inside the courtroom ten survivors family members are assembled alongside the press and lawyers are now assembling. i want to highlight within the group of family members for all of you at home one significant family, bill and denise richard the parents of martin richard 8 years old when he was killed. a family that knows the pain of this story as much as anyone in the nation. it highlights an interesting facet to the public reaction saying in light of how painful this has been and something i've heard echoed throughout the community, we actually want a result of life in prison because we don't want to deal with the years of appeals and painful continual presence of dzhokhar tsarnaev in the headlines that might ensue in the event of a
death penalty ruling here. >> ronan i want to talk about what we're seeing inside the courtroom as pete williams was just telling us for folks watching this. we'll be hearing each item as the jury goes through it. we're being told that as you mentioned the victim's families some of them have assembled in the courtroom and members of the fbi team, prosecution, the government apparently coming back from what was a late lunch. what else do we know about how this process is going to play out when we hear from this jury? >> well, the press are assembled in two rooms, courtroom number nine upstairs in the building behind me and courtroom number 7, serving as an overflow room where they can watch on a closed circuit feed. we do have our court illustrators there. we've seen dzhokhar tsarnaev in the room every day at the outset of the day as they bring the jury in and at the close of the day, always dressed in a very similar matter conservative button down shirt.
today a grayish brown one, unbuttoned two buttons from the top and showing as little emotion as possible it seems with the exception of flashes of emotion. today as this happens and we see the results of this long drawn out and painful story for everyone in boston all eyes will be on dzhokhar tsarnaev, watching to see if he ee moats and there's a reaction. other than the unscripted moments, a repeated animated conversation this morning that prompted two shushings from a lawyer otherwise, the only moment during actual testimony was when a family member an aunt was brought before the stand and couldn't bring herself to be conversant. she was collapsing and emotional. at that point we did see dzhokhar tsarnaev wipe a tear from his eye. otherwise he's been -- it will be interesting to see with so much hanging in the balance whether we'll see flashes of
emotion there. >> did any of the survivors or family members of victims testify during this penalty phase? >> reporter: well, we did see some survivors testify over the kourgs of the entire process. the interesting facet here is that survivors are split, even those most affected by this are sometimes as the richards family right now in the courtroom behind me in favor of a life in prison outcome here partly because of that arduous long appeals process that so often results in federal capital punishment cases. one interesting case about the survivors, there are ten family members in the room right now. in addition to the press and lawyers and authorities. we're just hearing that the judge and jury are about to be brought in by the way. there's progress right now as we're speaking. but one interesting facet of the survivors and those most affected by this, they are still suffering. there's actually a police officer richard donahue who just
resumed work today after two years of recovery time from his juries on that day during the bombing. that's an individual that witnessed some of this child and been present for some of the proceedings, we've already heard several cases of amputations since the beginning of 2015. people still suffering further injuries in rehabilitation and living out the rereveal and human consequences of this. what i heard from many in the community, we want to move on and family members like the richards who say we want to move on and turn the page. for many in that community, this is something they'll never move on from. certainly haven't yet. the jury deliberated a little over 15 hours that's longer than some trials we've seen of a similar nature, the timothy mcveigh returned the verdict in 11 hours and the gary lee sam son was returned with a similar
death verdict with 12 hours. still in line with what jurors have to wrestle with in these kinds of complex cases with so much at stake. >> ronan, as we are awaiting this penalty verdict as folks will remember, dzhokhar tsarnaev convicted of all 30 counts, 17 of them capital counts, which means any one could bring an actual penalty of capital punishment today. while you're there i want to mention we are getting reports that tsarnaev is inside the courtroom along with other people we mentioned. so this could begin at me moment when the judge enters and jury speaks. i want to speak with you a little bit as we prepare for that about the mitigating factors. we've spoken a lot about all of the reasons why this jury could legally go to capitol punishment and fact this was a federal terrorism offense and assertion by prosecutors that there was little to no remorse shown whatsoever in any phase.
ronan, tell us about the factors that's could go in his direction for a life sentence. when you look at the document that you've been mentioning they talk about the fact that tsarnaev's brothers we heard earlier were really potentially more of the leader, that he was radicalized and he was young at 19. speak about those mitigating factors. >> before we get to that, that is the crux of this case i mentioned, that's exactly right. actually the jury is in the courtroom now, we're just hearing the judge is also about to start in the courtroom. we'll keep you updated on that. that tsarnaev himself is also in the courtroom right now we're hearing he's quietly talking to his counsel. they are having conversations under their breath about how this might play out. we're waiting and watching to see if anything is overheard and of course for judge to start. you mentioned mitigating factors and the crux of the defense ace case was about the influence of tamerlan, the older brother. they brought in witnesses who
spoke, for instance about the family and family values in their particular immigrant culture that actually for their background culturally the sway of an older brother is particularly acute. all of that exacerbated by the absentee father here. there was a father suffering from mental illness how it was rendered by the defense, that the mother was also absent. the picture painted for this jury was one of a broken home and one in which tamerlan had to step in and slip into that authority role and obviously that role proved insidious. to the extent they find a large number of mitigating factors present, that's going to be the core of it. it runs through so much of the document to what extent was tamerlan the operator here. the prosecution on the other side of course has been adamant throughout that dzhokhar tsarnaev was an independent
thinker, a terrorist in his own right. they talked about him purchasing milk afterwards and not showing remorse. that is another mitigating factor. they brought in sister helen prajean, an ardent opponent of capital punishment to say he shows remorse. >> a jury -- i'm going to interrupt you to tell you we have our first indication of what the jury is doing it has found the government has proven one what are called gateway factors, a legal step towards what we expect chgs then looking at whether or not the death penalty itself is warranted. that is a finding, the first indication we've had, one that's widely expected on a statutory level. there's a gateway, if you think of this as a road towards the final decision, that's a step on the road that said it is legally possible to proceed through the death penalty. i want to bring in krystal ball.
>> we got another note that says that the jury fourwoman exhaled as she handed this verdict form to the judge. we talked some about dzhokhar's demeanor as he observed the proceedings, anything note worthy in terms of the jury's demeanor as they watch these proceedings? >> reporter: again, we're hearing they are solemn and they are assembled, otherwise hard to read the tea leaves. we do know from the jury impaneling process, voir dire process, the identity and names not released but profiles from the way they answered questions, a wide range of people, a school teacher, technician and different professions and different views on the death penalty and other issues relevant to this. now as ari mentioned, passing that first hurdle of one gateway factor means they were unanimous on one of those, we sort of knew reasonable minded observers knew these very basic thresholds would be met. the age would be met, one of the
greatway thresholds was likely to be met. now comes the real test what we should be hearing any moment now as they continue reading the aggravating factor section is next. we have should have a better sense as they read ost pages from the aggravating factors assembled by the prosecution. these are interpreted from statute designed to reserve the death penalty for only the most extreme cases and apply to the facts of this case and more understanding within that courtroom as they walk through those right now. >> ronan, stick with us. ari as we wait to hear whether or not he gets capital punishment or not, it's been since 1988 three federal executions since then. help put this in proper perspective? should rare would this decision be? >> well, as you say the use of the federal death penalty is rare at this point in our history. it is costly difficult and severe to apply.
in addition, the fact is when you think about most violent crime where people associate death penalty and premeditated murder, those are usually state charges, there's also the fact that the federal government is not involved on a day to day basis. as to what he learned on the gate gateway factors those examples are finding by the jury we can now reflect that reflekts what was proven in the guilty verdict. first gateway factor did he kill the victim or victims of the capital count being considered. as we know 17 capital counts here. so what we can say at this early point, we're just getting the first indish sha of what this jury is doing. we can say that the death penalty is still on the table, ronan. >> reporter: that's exactly right. it will be on the table through the end. this could go either way. i want to return to pete williams, we can follow the play
by play. these are pertinent questions of law and inform about the jury's thinking but the reality is, again, after they get through all of the aggravating factors and mitigating factors and aggravating ones for people watching at home, being those factors that suggest more of an appropriateness of the death penalty, things like were children specifically targeted and mitigating factors being those factors that count against the death penalty things like dzhokhar tsarnaev being under the sway of his brother rather than acting independently. >> i'm going to interrupt you because we now have from inside the courtroom the finding from the jury that the government has proven the existence of one of the statutory aggravating factors so to put that -- >> reporter: that means unanimously -- >> that's exactly right. >> that means if you're watching at home that is basically the step two towards a death penalty. it does not tell us whether there is any final judgment on that. we have to wait. this means step one and step
two. in their requirements, several pages of these requirements under law and tour'e what that tells us, we can now report, it is possible that this jury will continue onto the death penalty because they found aggravating factors in what they reviewed thus far. >> there's ten people in the victim and victim's family section, including richard family who lost their young son. the judge has given the typical traditional outburst warning. if you make an outburst you will be removed and found in contempt. we've been setting the stage for this legal intellectual road towards possibly life or death. at the end we mentioned gateway factors. what other things are we going to see along this road moving towards the final decision of life or death? do they have to make all of the gateway factors, only some? explain what we're looking for. >> what we're looking at is a jury that is operating under these federal requirements to determine, a, that the
underlying crimes were committed, which we basically know, that b, there's a gateway of the actual -- the actual charges here apply. and then when we talk about aggravating factors as i was saying earlier on air, that's the stuff that is really bad for the defendant, saying this was a very cruel crime or targeted children or targeted in the words of the prosecutors an iconic event. you add that up and the only thing we're waiting to hear now is whether the jury unanimously finds that each of those steps and on one capital charge all of that amounts to in their view a proper application of the death penalty. we don't know yet their final result. we do know that the door remains legally open here to a potential application of the death penalty. >> ronan, speak to that, you've been on ground here a couple of days and to reopen those wounds and reminder, the death penalty is not legal in the state of
massachusetts. how is that debate playing out and in terms of who you have spoken to on the ground, what are you hearing about all of this? >> that's right, at a majority of massachusetts citizens opposed to capital punishment, this isn't a jury representative of the peers in that state because as ari mentioned this actually is a jury that had to be selected for at least a theoretical willingness to administer a death penalty in a case of this kind. what i've been struck by most all of you in new york just how raw the sensation is but how surprisingly that doesn't always mean people want the death penalty more. in terms of the lay observations, there are a number of people that agree with the richard family in the room behind me right now, that lost their 8-year-old son on the day of the boston bombing who wrote we want to move on from this more quickly and most expeditious way to do that is life in prison because that's decided immediately.
the appeals process in response to a death penalty could go on for years. there hasn't been a capital punishment administered -- carried through since timothy mcveigh that was in the early 2000s. we're looking at a long wait and many years of dzhokhar tsarnaev potentially being in the headlines for this community. that's very much on people's minds, certainly we know from the richards, it's on the family's minds. >> we have more new information from inside the courtroom. the jury has unanimously found that at least one capital crime was committed and quote especially heinous cruel and depraved manner, on one capital offense, they did unanimously agree on the type of aggravating factor that could bring in the death penalty. if that sounds similar to what we've been reporting before it is true it is similar because they have to go through so many of these. but this is a unanimous finding tour'e that this could implicate the death penalty. i'm reading from the charging
document that this crime was committed in a heinous and cruel manner an we unanimously find this is found beyond a reasonable doubt. >> and dzhokhar tsarnaev is found responsible for the death of martin richard particularly vulnerable due to youth. we're walking down a very dangerous road for him at this point. >> that's correct. we're not in the business of prediction ronan but what we can say is from inside the courtroom, our nbc reporters who are there reporting out each item as it comes forward from this jury and thus far, we're seeing several unanimous findings on those very aggravating factors that would give the jury the legal support for applying the death penalty. ronan. >> and ari, you're framing this in exactly the right way. it would give them the authority to impose the death penalty but it's necessary not sufficient. they could still have been unanimous on all of these factors we're talking about
having found aggravating factors that are sufficient and met those so-called gateway factor and still turn around and strucked of their ability to do so in the verdict slip here and say, despite all of that we feel we don't want death here. this is ultimately going to be a decision of conscious within the room and down to what these individuals felt on a personal level. in fact, even it codifieds that in the document by saying you can introduce whatever other mitigating and aggravating factors you choose, essentially you make up. >> so all bets are off, even once we know all of this even after they've crossed these hurdles we've been hearing about. >> ari i wanted to ask you, ronan was mentioning that timothy mcveigh was the last person sentenced to death by the federal government. what are some reasons that a death penalty is so rare in federal trials? >> in federal trials we know that often you've got the reasons that a federal violent
act would go to the federal courts as o poised to state courts are things most people don't think about, the inclusion of a federal target, fbi agent, use of weapons of mass destruction, which is a term of art that refers to certain types of explosive devices and of course domestic terrorism. those are the kind of hooks that we would see and we see that in this case where wmds among other terror charges are among the 30 counts that dzhokhar tsarnaev was already convicted of. but traditional acts of violence, first degree murder handled by the states. the feds don't have as much of a caseload on that and a death penalty is a costly and lengthy process. we see federal prosecutors sometimes not pursue it. >> we see the verdict form being read out as we go along. page 13 dzhokhar tsarnaev caused injury harm and loss to four different folks, crystal
marie campbell and her family and friends martin richard and his family and friends lindsay lu and her family and friends and officer sean collier and his family and friends. ari, a number of folks being mentioned there, continuing to move down through these factors. >> look, as i mentioned it earlier, it may sound dark to talk about this as a road to the death penalty. but this document is first a road to those potential factors and then as we get later through it, we'll be reporting from the jury on anything that goes in the other direction. but right now here we are up to page 13 several victims listed out and we can report the saying we unanimously find that that is proven beyond -- >> let me bring in, karen desoto former prosecutor. >> just a question of does the jury have to be unanimous on every single thing for are the death penalty to be ultimately ruled? >> yes, on each count they have to be unanimous but it only
takes one count so that's one of the issues. >> heeshz something, karen, page 14, tsarnaev demonstrated a lack of remorse, proven beyond a reasonable doubt, why does that matter? why does he have -- >> that's a mitigating factor. remorse means they feel sorry for actions. obviously when you're going to -- >> surely did you do it or did you not do it? >> sadly that's not what you do in a sentencing phase. you bring out family members and kindergarten teacher and trying to save somebody's life. any of the mitigating factors that will maybe make the jurors see him as a human being -- >> if you show remorse, maybe you get out of death that's what we want to see at this point. >> they do want to see remorse. every judge when you do a sentencing report remorse is always something you mention. if you have a defendant sitting next to you crying hysterically
that could be perceived by the jury as acting and overacting and there's something wrong with them and go in the other direction because of that. each judge during sentencing phase will mention remorse because they may be more lenient if you are remorseful. it was a mistake moment of passion. unfortunately those typical factors you don't have in this particular case. >> we're here reporting live on the jury's decision here in the boston marathon bombing penalty phase. we can now report from the courtroom on first 15 pages, every aggravating factor and legal basis for potential application of the death penalty, we can now report this jury has unanimously found these factor proven beyond a reasonable doubt. what that means is with regard to the argument for the death penalty here, the prosecution on paper according to this jury unanimously has carried its burden. it does not not tell us what the final decision is. it does tell us something we did not know ten minutes ago, which
is this jury now unanimously finds the basis to potentially apply the death penalty. i want you to speak to what they are now doing as we speak moving on to pages 16 forward the mitigating factor. >> so you're talking about gateway factor apz these factors. when you get this very confusing form and every jury trial i've had had confusing instructions which is what makes it disturbing. you get the program and you say if you unanimously answer yes, go onto the next question. that's why it's a methodical step by step process. a lot of times juries need explanation because even words like intent are very confusing. the prosecutor's version and the defense version in simple words is very confusing. >> we're moments away from the clark reading the jury's verdict, we're told that will happen next. as of this point jurors have found tsarnaev's lawyers have
found the existence of at least three mitigating factors that will weigh in deciding whether to sentence him to death or life. what does that mean? >> the aggravating factors have to outweigh the mitigating factors. you know i think the most -- the least amount of mitigating factors i've had in any case -- usually three or four or five mitigating factors. the problem is the aggravating factors usually outweigh the mitigating factors and that's how you find for death penalty. one of those people were police officers so in many states you -- you have the death penalty just based on the fact that somebody was a police officer. >> one thing three jurors found that tamerlan was influence by his older brother some are believing the notion there was a significant amount of influence -- >> i want to give a brief score xord where we're at. what this means at as tour'e was just saying out of the 21 mitigating factors put forward thus far our reporters in the
jury room telling us three accepted including tamerlan tsarnaev being influenced by his older brother -- dzhokhar tsarnaev being influenced by tamerlan. it is 3 out of 21 not a very high number. on the negative side for this defendant, what we're seeing is unanimously the jury finding all of those negative factors those aggravating factors -- this is not simple path. you can't just split the difference but it is fair to say at this juncture what we know about this jury about to announce its final decision they clearly accepted a lot of what the prosecution put forward to them in this penalty phase. >> and speak to those mitigating factors and potential strength of them. we know that the defense is going to argue that his young age should be considered and also as ari was just saying the influence of his older brother tamerlan. are those the types of factors that you think would be
persuasive to a jury? >> they are persuasive but i can tell you that the trend in every state and also in federal cases is that age is not as much of a consideration unless the person is very young. we know that in this country, there has been a trend to even 13 14 15-year-old children are now being prosecuted as adults. age it something i argue if somebody is under the age of 25 i'll often argue they are young and brain is not done developing. >> i'll break in to say we have now a report on the verdict. the death penalty being chosen unanimously by this jury in this trial of dzhokhar tsarnaev. we are being told the death penalty is the unanimous decision of this jury in the boston marathon bombing trial of dzhokhar tsarnaev. breaking news sentenced to death. >> that is not a surprise. if ever there was a case of cruel and heinous, this has to be it.
you know this is not a shock i think for anyone. this is a global event. children were killed people were scared, boston will never be the same and the jury did what they were charged to do. >> what this means is that tsarnaev remains in federal custody and be formally sentenced and technically by a judge based on this unanimous decision by jury, dzhokhar tsarnaev sentenced to death for those murders and terrorism convictions in the boston marathon bombing. as well by law the victims can be made available to have impact statements and tsarnaev also technically would have the opportunity to speak at that time. this is clearly -- this is clearly i think fair to say a historic ruling in a case that the nation watched in terrorism here at home. >> there's an interesting list we're getting of mitigating factors and we're getting a list of number of jurors who agreed,
some are very low and some are things like, tsarnaev's teachers in elementary school and middle school and high school knew him to be hard working and kind and considerate, 12 jurors find that. friends and college thought him to be caring an respectful. 11 jurors found that. then there's this, mental illness and brain damage disabled his father. the jurors agreed with that. there's something about his mother that -- that she -- >> go ahead, karen. >> even mitigating doesn't mean it matters. the jury will list four or five mitigating factors but at the end of the day, who cares. >> they found his mother facilitated his brother tamerlan's radicalization krystal, ten jurors found that. so a lot of mitigating factors here but krystal as karen is saying a lot of those did not clearly add up to the level of the aggravating factors and now the death penalty for dzhokhar tsarnaev.
>> death penalty sentence for dzhokhar tsarnaev and we have a little bit of color from inside the courtroom after that verdict of the death penalty was read, tsarnaev said nothing. he did nothing. he sat in his chair and swallowed. karen, this is a dramatic outcome as ari has been saying as tour'e and we've all been saying. this is not the end of the road for tsarnaev. what lies ahead for him? >> lots of appeals but the most difficult part is he's going to be a super max prison. i think many americans are now aware of what a super max prison is and what happens at super max prisons. he will -- >> help explain that for people who aren't aware. >> super max -- i can spend hours telling you about super max prisons but the gist of it is that he will be in solitary confinement, one of those hot issues now whether or not that actually in and of itself
constitutes cruel and unusual punishment punishment. anyone who has a client or talked to somebody in solitary confinement, even for a short period of time shows signs of mental illness more likely to commit suicide, be re-sid vists. no matter what anybody can tell you, it really is hell on earth. >> people have said that, it is worse than death, ari. >> we can now say that we have the exact counts on which he was sentenced to death. six counts, guilty of these counts we already knew but now each of these the pred indicate for this death penalty, the use of those wmds in terror attack and bombing a place of public use, that was the terrorism everyone remembers at that marathon. possession and use of a firearm, resulting in death. also a reason the jury sentenced dzhokhar tsarnaev to death and
two other counts, malicious destruction of property resulting in death and use of a firearm resulting in death. those are six different capital counts, tour'e, let me go to you first. you think about the boston marathon bombing and look at the law here, i will say as a side note people think what they believe to be justice in this case. but second, this was a prosecution here that threw it is fair to say, everything at this individual defendant. that is why there are so many charges and that is why there's so much convictions and that's why we can now report this jury found six different capital crimes, six different reasons to sentence this individual to death. >> ronan farrow still outside the court. we want to bring you back into the conversation. this is happening in boston i grew up in boston and know boston extremely well. one of the things we talked about when we were talking about this day leading up to this day,
could the people of boston of massachusetts send someone to death? massachusetts does not have the death penalty but that's a state issue. this is a federal issue. when we look through this list about the jurors almost all of them say they are open to the death penalty only one woman said she was against the death penalty. but still open to it. clearly the people who are selected and people of boston were selected for this trial were more than open. they were willing and today we found out they were able to give the death penalty to dzhokhar tsarnaev. what is the scene out there right now, ronan? >> reporter: the reality, tour'e, there is no good news here. this is a dark trial dark story. the atmosphere here in turn is tense on ground. there are reporters assembled and gaggle behind me waiting to see who comes out, watching the mood of the protesters who also seem tense right now. again, people with signs picketing outside the front of the building. i'm in the back.
also a spike in security right now. we're seeing officers with sniffing dogs patrolling dogs right now, hearing many, many more aerial patrols and helicopters in the air. a tense moment here in boston. i think an understanding, tour'e, that for many who wanted to see this chapter closed and new chapter open, this is anything but the end. we mentioned before how long it takes to execute individuals in the system. mcveigh, executed in 2003, since then 40 other death penalties imposed but not acted on. it remains to be seen when and if he'll actually be executed. it is very difficult to kill people in the federal system tour'e. >> absolutely. we want to bring pete williams back in on how the question of how the appeals process will unfold. on what grounds is his defense team likely to appeal this verdict? >> reporter: well, i'll get to
that in just a second. there's something important that has to be pointed out about the jury's verdict, if i may. he faced the death penalty for the deaths of four people, crystal campbell, bomb number one, bomb planted by his older brother tamerlan and other two people killed in the bomb that he placed lindsay liu and martin richard, the 8-year-old and the fourth person was officer sean collier. the jury gave him the death penalty only for the people who were killed by the bomb he planted, not for crystal campbell's death who dialed in the first bomb and not for officer sean collier. there was no clear proof who pulled the trigger on that thursday night when sean collier was killed at the m.i.t. campus. i think that's an interesting fact about the reason or the basis on which the jury impose d the death penalty.
as to the question of the appeals, there has to be an appeal. that's the way the federal law works. if there's a death sentence in the federal system, there's a mandatory appeal. and i'm sure the dweps will have lots of objections to things the court wouldn't allow but i expect at the top of the list would be the venue issue. they had gone to court four separate times to get this trial moved out of boston. they in essence argued that boston was the victim of this bombing the entire city, that everybody knew somebody who was somehow affected by the bombing and that therefore wasn't possible to find a jury that was truly objective and that by the time he went through this long selection process, you got a jury that wasn't representative of the community. that will be a big argument. then after that mandatory appeal is over, which will take two or three years then there will be subsequent appeals that the lawyers can file.
the way these things work the appeals will go on for a decade or more. >> pete, speak to us about now that we now that the jury's unanimous decision on several of these capital counts how we can understand the jury assessed and accepted many of the arguments the prosecution made about this convicted murderer? >> reporter: well, you know you go back to the guilt phase they found him guilty on every single count. remember what the jury -- what the defense's case came down to. they said the famous three words from the guilt phase he did it. they never denied the that dzhokhar tsarnaev was involved in the crimes but what they said was he wasn't as responsible as his older brother tamerlan, that it was tamerlan who became the first radicalized member of the family and dragged his brother along. they claim that in the chechen
culture, you follow the dictates of the senior person in the family that became the older brother because his father was having mental problems. his parents ultimately separated and left went back overseas. and so they said the death penalty should be for the worst of the worst that's tamerlan he's gone and dzhokhar isn't as responsible. clearlily the jury rejected that on at least the counts involved with the victims who died with the bomb he planted. the government evidence here was extremely strong, hearing from the victims of those bombs and parents of martin richard, the relatives and friends of lindsay liu and the fact that that video was such a key piece of evidence where you could see dzhokhar tsarnaev come to the front of the restaurant and stand there for four minutes and the government said it was obvious he was placing his bomb right near a bunch of children.
and i think that was especially persuasive. one of the government's counts here and claims they said should lead the jury towards the death penalty. he targeted an especially vulnerable victim and the jury found that unanimously. >> pete williams, thank you so much for your time today and your insight on this matter as we watch dzhokhar tsarnaev sentenced to death in boston. karen desoto is still with us. just to give a sense of the graph tas of this moment, for all of these folks we're told within the courtroom that multiple jurors were crying during the judge's final comments including the forewoman. is that something you normally see? >> sometimes you do see it. and actually, many cases one in particular in pennsylvania with kermit gosselin, the court will bring in a psychiatrist to do post-traumatic stress counseling -- >> for the jurors correct. >> we're getting a statement now from attorney general loretta
lynch who says we know all too well that no verdict can heal the souls of those who lost loved ones nor the minds and bodies of those who suffered life changing injuries but the ultimate penalty is a fitting penalty for this horrific crime and we hope the completion of this prosecution will bring some measure of closure to the victims and their families. we thank the jurors for their service and resilience yens and support in the law enforcement community in boston and throughout the country for their important work. that was from attorney general loretta lynch. you're saying this is potentially just the beginning of what could be a long road. >> it's a long road for a lot of reasons. one of the most troubling things we see somebody very young but also somebody who was raised in our schools in the united states. we're hearing reports about targeting young men and isis and what can this case tell us and what information can we learn from this horrific tragedy to
maybe stop this type of behavior in the future. our children not assimilating into our culture and what does this trial mean for us and how can we learn as americans where to move forward and what signs and red flags to look for? >> we're seeing few more reports from winding down of this death verdict, tsarnaev reportedly sitting back in his chair looking towards the judge, remaining according to tom winter nbc reporter expressionless and the judge adregsing him saying mr. tsarnaev conducted himself with exposure and thanking the judge and press and jurors in the process and jurors are walking out for one last time. even if justice is served, as tour'e was reporting with all of the tears in the room, it's a difficult outcome no matter what you think of it. >> yeah that's absolutely the case. we should keep in mind that this is a man dzhokhar tsarnaev, who wrote in his own blood a
message in that beat about he too longed to be a martyr like his brother and today as we're reporting, it looks like he will get his wish, although there is a long appeals process ahead of him. and ahead of boston. i want to bring in former federal prosecutor kayla mason. nice to have you during the coverage. what is your reaction to the verdict? are you surprised in any way? what are your thoughts today? >> well obviously there is some degree of surprise that a death penalty verdict came out of the state of massachusetts and with respect to a defendant who was only 19 at the time of the offense. but really i would second the opinion of others who say this is what the death penalty is for. if we're going to have a death penalty, it's for crimes like this. so think ultimately what the jury may well have felt is even though they may be opposed to it
in many cases the facts of this case simply could not be denied. and there just was not enough mitigation especially given the admitted involvement in the details of the attack. >> calleb stick with us there were 15 hours of deliberations here. now we know he has gotten the death penalty does that tell you they came up with that decision rather quickly or did this take a bit of time? >> this i would say was deliberate and prudent. this is a reasonably long period of time, not unduly long, does not suggest a back and forth of hours of debate, but it does suggest that they went through methodically and as reported earlier on air here with breaking news, we can see distinctions made in the charges that they use to apply the death penalty. using the murders related to the bombing itself but not accepting
every or even half of the capital counts -- >> like police officer and not knowing which one actually pulled the trigger. that tells you they were very methodical. >> if you believe that jurors operate as instructed and take each count individually under their obligations and that's what they did. there are many who believe that it's a more wholistic process. if there was one count would they have made the same distinction, we're not sure about the trigger maybe not? we can't speculate but we do know this jury did unanimously find on multiple counts related to the boston mareathon attacks themselves, that this man, dzhokhar tsarnaev, in their view not only was responsible, which he already found in phase one but today, phase two was responsible in such a heinous way as to merit the ultimate punishment, the death penalty. >> karen, there's been a lot of
discussion over the last 14 years since 9/11, could we try a terrorist in federal court within america and here we see yes, we can. and we can give them what i think you and i would agree was a fair trial and just verdict. >> and that's true. if you're talking about a case that happened on u.s. soil. it becomes more problematic when you have people where the crime took place on foreign soil. why? because the evidence and the processing of the evidence is much different from a foreign and military procedures are very different than a civil police department. so that's how it gets a little gray and cloudy. but again in cases like this where it appears it's pretty clear what happened yes, federal courts are more than proficient. >> krystal. >> i want to get caleb mason back in here. it is a remarkable process to watch unfold and you really have
to applaud these jurors and seriousness which ordinary citizens approach their service whether you agree with this particular outcome or not, you really have to admire the spirit with which this undertaking is done. caleb, as a former federal prosecutor i'm sure you've worked with a lot of survivors and families of victims. how do they move forward after the penalty phase and after a verdict is reached? is this the beginning of a healing process for them? >> i think the most important thing for a victim with respect to the criminal justice process is to know that they are being heard. that they are not being ignored, that they have some sort of a voice that their concerns are addressed and they have access to the criminal justice system and people responsible for prosecuting the case. i would certainly assume and it appears in this case that the prosecution has worked closely
with the victims and has not at all shut them out of the decision-making process. unfortunately as far as closure as some of your guests have noted, these things don't end for several years. at the shortest end of the spectrum. so closure with respect to a verdict and a decision, but closure with respect to the final outcome, no. however, that may not be the most important thing in the victims' minds. i think they can look at this and see that justice has been served fairly and completely. and that the jury of their peers has spoken and i think ultimately that may be the most important thing for them. >> caleb, when it comes to the death penalty since 1988, there have been three federal executions. help put this in proper context for us. this is obviously a pretty unusual thing. >> it's extremely unusual yes.
and that's why it's one of the very few categories of cases where approval within the justice department has to come from the attorney general himself. this is not a type of charge and type of request for sentence that prosecutors have the discretion to seek on their own. and it has, you know, -- you know, nationally it has been diminishing as a punishment. i think the high year for the united states was around 2000 and we've been on a downward plateau ever since then and if you look at the number of executions actually carried out, that's also diminishing. so, yeah. the nation is definitely being a lot more selective in its application of this penalty. and ultimately, as for cases like this, i think there's relatively little debate that it was an appropriate charge. so if there is ever going to be
a death penalty in the country, it would be for cases like this. a lot of the borderline cases that you hear about involve facts much less egregious than this. the only comment i would make on that is youth. i think several commentators have noted it is unconstitutional to execute a person for a crime he committed before 18, and the defendant was fairly close to that mark. this is an indication that 18 is still a magic number in a lot of ways. >> let me read a tweet from boston marathon survivor sydney corcoran. she and her mother celeste suffered severe leg injuries. sydney today tweets my mother and i think that now he will go away and we will be able to move on. justice in his own words, an eye for an eye. that's the view from one bostonian today. let's bring in another, "the boston globe's" mike bello has been with us on and off
throughout this conversation. mike, boston has been on an emotional roller coaster through this situation. perhaps one of the greatest lows in boston history and some of the most powerful moments of rejuvenation, of civic rejuvenation throughout this. on this day, with this man sentenced to death, how is boston doing today? >> well, i think among residents, there's a sense of relief, that at least the trial is over. the jury has rendered its decision. i think there's probably division over whether he deserved the death penalty. this jury certainly felt he did, finding him responsible for the deaths of lindsay lui and martin richard. and the course where the bombings occurred, a number of people are talking high emotion there. in watertown where the shootout occurred, the boston marathon bombers and a few slides of bullets went and tamerlan ended
up dying. people there have breathed a sigh of relief. there are still bullet holes from the shootout there, in fact. >> mike, let me ask you. are you surprised at all by this verdict? as caleb and others have said, if you're ever going to have a death penalty, this seems like an appropriate case for it. yet we've seen the polling bostonians, a majority of them did not think that tsarnaev did not receive the death penalty. so are you surprised by this outcome? >> i'm a little surprised. because we've done polls. the"the boston globe" has done polls showing the majority of people did not want the death penalty. i'm not surprised by the jury's decision because they were so quick. i was thinking that 14 hours, if they came back quickly, it was going to be the death penalty. if it was longer, it was going to be life in prison. the prosecution made a very detailed presentation in this case complete with unbelievable witness testimony, forensic evidence, autopsy photos. the jurors cried on several occasions in the first phase and the second phase of the trial.
the evidence was overwhelming in this case. the defense didn't put up too much of a fight in the first phase. in the second phase they tried to cast him as someone enslaved by his brother, as someone who did show some remorse. but the image of tsarnaev in that courtroom was telling. no emotion. cried a little when his aunt was on the stand and she cried. but when the victims were on the stand, when the autopsy photos -- when martin richard's dad was on the stand, no emotion, stoic. that's one of the things that sealed his doosmm. >> the evidence was overwhelming. as we discussed before on this show folks in boston are not in favor of the death penalty. massachusetts did not have the death penalty. that does not matter in a federal trial. but it does speak to how people in the area feel about the death penalty. do you think folks in boston
were somewhat conflicted? and while traditionally i don't like the death penalty, but this situation is different. >> i think it was different for a number of reasons. i think there was a real debate here as to what was the best punishment for dzhokhar tsarnaev. should he spend the rest of his days in jail suffering and being out of the limelight? the fact that he was sentenced to death, some people felt he would be made a martyr in the jihad world. and how should he pay for these crimes? what was the best way for him to pay for his crimes? i'm not sure it was for the efficacy of whether he should be put to death or the ethics of it. >> i want to get caleb mason, former federal prosecutor back in here. caleb, talking a little bit more about the appeals process. we heard from pete williams earlier that one thing likely to be brought up in that process is the choice of boston as the location for this trial, and whether citizens of boston could truly be unbiassed in this case.
how likely is it that any of these appeals would succeed on tsarnaev's behalf? >> well, the appeal is going to have to allege that there was some legal error in the proceedings. and these were proceedings that were tried by a very able defense team, and certainly in my observation, the trial was extremely fair. the ruling that is i would think very likely is going to be the ruling on venue. the claim is going to be that he has a right to a fair trial. that's a constitutional right and he was unable to get it in boston. he made a proper request for transfer to another venue and the court denied that and that error denyied him fair trial. i think that would be the argument that would be made in appeal. those appeals are occasionally successful. but the trial judge has a tremendous amount of discretion to run the trial and to select the venue.
i think the showing would have to be extraordinarily persuasive. if we were handicapping it, i would be doubtful that that would prevail. after the direct appeals process, we get into the stage of the proceedings that gives us probably the longest period of time and that would be what we would call the 2255, the collateral attack. where he could in theory, argue that he had ineffective assistance of counsel. that his lawyers were deficient in some respect. i would be hard-pressed to see how such an argument could prevail, given that he had arguably the best death penalty attorney in the nation and i certainly did not observe any major mistakes that she made in the case. but that is too separate sets of appeals. you can appeal the direct rulings of the trial, and you can appeal constitutional deficiencies on the part of your
attorneys. so the second stage of that only begins once the first stage is over. i would imagine a year at least for the direct appeal. >> and the m.i.t. police have a statement they put out, where they say hope that the conclusion of the trial and the subsequent verdict can offer some kind of closure no matter how small. remember, m.i.t. they lost an officer in that shootout. today is really a day where you hope that to their point, even if it is small that there is some sort of closure. >> yeah that's right. i want to thank everyone who joined us on this historic day. pete williams caleb mason, karen desoto and mike bello from "the boston globe." boston has sent dzhokhar tsarnaev to his death. ari melber continues our special coverage right up next. we are continuing the breaking news coverage here. 21-year-old boston marathon bomber dzhokhar tsarnaev will be
put to death for his crimes and murder a federal jury deliberated a unanimous verdict just this afternoon, an hour ago, after deliberating for two days, a little over 15 hours of total deliberations. tsarnaev reportedly sat impassive in the courtroom this afternoon, showing no reaction as the verdict of his death was read out loud. multiple jurors reportedly were in tears. tsarnaev convicted last month of course, on all 30 charges against. 17 of those charges carried a potential death penalty. charges covered in that bombing killing three, injuring 260. and charges related to the ensuing manhunt in which an m.i.t. police officer was shot and killed, a driver carjacked and he and his older brother tamerlan ended up in a dangerous firefight with police. he will remain in custody until his formal sentencing. any execution, however could be years away with a mandatory appeal under federal death penalty cases. joining me no