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View Diary: Who We Are: The Public Arraignment of the Boston Terror Suspect (276 comments)

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  •  I think you're correct. (2+ / 0-)
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    Avila, polecat

    It isn't as obvious from a legal standpoint that this was a bomb simply because a pressure cooker was used. I supposed the mass-destruction element of the government's case has to do with the inclusion of elements of shrapnel, which serves no other purpose but to kill and maim over a wide area, and the fact that it was deployed in an area where there was a large concentration of people. Now, is this any different from spraying people with a machine gun? If it isn't, then a machine gun is a WMD. (i can hear the gun freaks howing already). That isn't completely clear. I agree.

    •  Did McVeigh get charged similarly or was his (0+ / 0-)

      strictly the murder of so many people ?  I do not know why, but I keep thinking the bomb played a role in his charges or I may be mistaken. ???

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      by wishingwell on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:52:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here (2+ / 0-)
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        chuckvw, wishingwell

        THat case seems factually different from the case at hand including some questions of mitigation like defendant's age, the  fact whether he was or was nto the ring leader, his statements not , so far being clearly political like mcveigh, etc.  ON top of that the  question marks over whether its a WMD to me seems like a case for life imprisonment, but who knows given the politics what will happen. The Miranda incident and the GOP among other issues tell me that facts and legal analysis may not mattter here.

      •  It was his accomplice Nicholas . . . (1+ / 0-)
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        who convicted federally with a life sentence. OK wanted to try him for Murder in order to impose Capital Punishment. While he was convicted of murder, the jury deadlocked and couldn't impose the Death Penalty. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

    •  I think the politics of this will determine out (0+ / 0-)

      come more than the legal analysis unless you get a particularly independent minded judge

      Otherwise,  you will get "analysis" like some of which you see here which say it doesn't matter what the law says that he's charged with.

    •  Obvious difference between bomb (1+ / 0-)
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      and gun is that a person can set a bomb, or several bombs and then get out of the's not so easy to operate a machine gun remotely, a shooter has to be present.  But using the term "weapon of mass destruction" for either is verbal overkill--don't see why they can't just call it an anti-personnel explosive device or some phrase that adequately describes the thing without making it sound like a nuke.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:20:55 PM PDT

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      •  a bomb goes boom, a gun shoots things (2+ / 0-)
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        TheLizardKing, misslegalbeagle

        when you pull the trigger.  this is not complicated stuff.

        •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

          a bomb goes boom, and how the bomb is made doesn't define it half so much as the going boom part.

          Sometimes people read too much into a word.  If a word is not explicitly defined by the statute, the courts look to the common meaning of a word frst.  I don't think many people are confused by this and would not know it was illegal under that statute to pack a pressure cooker with powder, nails, etc., and rig it with a charge and set it off to go boom.  And that is how the court will look at 'overbroad'.  

    •  so you think there's a question as to whether (2+ / 0-)
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      TheLizardKing, VClib

      he used a bomb?

      I don't think a court will have any doubt that the explosive bomb he used was, as a matter of law, an explosive bomb.

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