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Will we ever know why Dzhokhar Tsarnaev spoke after it was too late?

By Nancy Gertner | The Boston Globe | June 30, 2015

The government focused on the claim that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev did not show remorse for his heinous, unimaginable crime until last week’s sentencing proceeding. That, counsel suggested, was too little, too late. Why was Tsarnaev silent during the penalty phase, when his life was on the line, only to speak after the jury chose death, when it no longer mattered? The sealed docket entries, the arguments of counsel, the documents that have been kept from the public, may hold the clue.

The defense reported that there was a 2013 letter from Tsarnaev, written just months after the bombing, about which the government knew. It suggested that letter did demonstrate remorse, and further, that Tsarnaev went so far as to offer to cooperate with the government. The letter was sealed under the government’s Special Administrative Measures. SAMs, as these measures are called, were put in place to block a defendant’s communications with the outside world, even if those communications contained an apology, had evidentiary value, and — in this case — may have served to dissuade others from following Tsarnaev’s lead. What did he say then? What was the context?

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