Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Guilty, But Why Exaggerate The Charges?

OK, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been found guilty on all 30 counts in the marathon-bombing trial.

What were those counts?  Let’s look at a few:

Count 1:  Conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction
Count 2:  Using weapon of mass destruction (pressure cooker bomb #1)
Count 3:  Used or carried firearm (pressure cooker bomb #1)
Count 4:  Use of weapon of mass destruction (pressure cooker bomb #2)
Count 5:  Used or carried firearm (pressure cooker bomb #2)
et cetera

(here’s a CNN link to a full listing of the counts: )

So, a pressure-cooker bomb is supposed to be a weapon of mass destruction — something the U.S. military was not able to find in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.  Really?  The Tsarnaev brothers were able to construct something that Saddam Hussein (with all of the resources of Iraq) could not?

And, those “weapons of mass destruction” are also considered firearms?  (So conversely, can firearms be considered weapons of mass destruction?  Watch out, gun owners.)

I did a quick Google search on “What is a weapon of mass destruction?”, and here’s the answer i got:

weap·on of mass de·struc·tion
a chemical, biological or radioactive weapon capable of causing widespread death and destruction.

So, widespread death and destruction from pressure-cooker bombs?  I think not.  Only limited death and destruction.  And definitely not a chemical, biological, or radioactive weapon.

According to wikipedia:
A weapon of mass destruction (WMD or WoMD) is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological or other weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans or cause great damage to human-made structures (e.g. buildings), natural structures (e.g. mountains), or the biosphere.

What was the casualty list from the marathon bombing?  The tally varies.  Three people dead, 170 injured according to:

Wikipedia lists 3 people dead and 264 injured.

A lot of casualties, no question; but was it from the use of weapons of mass destruction?  They were bombs, sure; but i think that calling each of the pressure-cooker bombs a “weapon of mass destruction” is a bit much.

What this basically means to me is that any charge in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev court case that contained the words “weapon of mass destruction” was basically meaningless.  Which counts included those words?  Twelve counts (#s 1, 2, 4, 16, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30) included those words; eighteen counts (#s 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22) did not.

Any juror who voted guilty on the “weapon of mass destruction” counts was a tool, IMHO.

Well, at least eighteen of the thirty counts •did• mean something — that’s 60% of them — so i guess a (slight) majority of the verdict has significance.  The other 40%?  Not significant.

Close enough for government work.

(And believe me, i’m all for the full prosecution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for the bombing; but there’s no need to exaggerate the charges.)

I posted this picture back on Wednesday 10 July 2013 ( ), and the question still stands:
And the answer is still...