Bar Dzhokhar Tsarnaev From Seeing Autopsy Photos Of Boston Victims, Say Feds
On Monday, nearly 11 months after the Boston Marathon bombing, prosecutors filed a motion to prevent suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from seeing the victims' autopsy photos. While the motion clarifies that the prosecutors are not preventing Tsarnaev's attorneys from reviewing or copying the autopsy photos, they do take an issue with Tsarnaev himself setting eyes on them.
Here's why, according to the motion:
The government maintains, however, that Tsarnaev has no need to review personally the many photos that will not be used against him, and that allowing him to do so would violate the victims’ rights to dignity and privacy and subject them to needless harm and suffering. Specifically, allowing photos of the mutilated bodies of the victims to be viewed by the man accused of mutilating them would needlessly revictimize the family members in the same way that innocent children who are photographed pornographically are revictimized whenever those photos are seen by others.
Prosecutors are OK with Tsarnaev reviewing any other evidence, such as his seeing any photos used as exhibits at the trial.
264 victims of the Boston Bombing are still alive, and many have lost limbs, received shrapnel wounds, or suffered perforated eardrums. It has also led to PTSD in many people — not only the victims but also police officers and Boston residents who weren't injured. It's only natural to assume that many of the victims would feel exposed to have the accused suspect see the injuries he allegedly inflicted on them.
The question that remains is: Would preventing Tsarnaev from seeing the photos infringe on any of his rights to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, or impact his ability to testify on the stand? Whatever the answer, Tsarnaev's defense lawyers are allegedly refusing to "accept any limitation on Tsarnaev's ability to view the autopsy photos," according to the motion.