U.S. District Judge George A. O'Toole Jr. Court handout.

U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole Jr.

The secrecy has finally gotten thick enough at the Boston Marathon Bombing trial for someone in the usually unquestioning establishment media to make a stink about the public’s right to know.

It’s a small stink, but The Boston Globe finally filed a motion along those lines. The newspaper, in a narrow request, asked U.S. District Court Judge George O’Toole to give public access to his rulings on the disqualifications of potential jurors. The paper wants to know how many have been excused, and why.

What does that mean? It means, basically, that the judge doesn’t want to reveal anything. In this particular instance, O’Toole has kept that information from the public. His justification is that details about which jurors were selected or rejected could potentially help other prospective jurors figure out how to get onto, or off of, the panel.

The funny thing about O’Toole’s stinginess with this public information, observers say, is that it may help undo another hard-and-fast stance of his: his objection to moving the trial out of Boston.

An ‘Implicit Acknowledgment’

Boston criminal defense attorney David Duncan said O’Toole has plenty of leeway to protect the integrity of legal proceedings, particularly in a “widely publicized or sensational” criminal case. Yet O’Toole’s actions could have an unintended effect, Duncan told WhoWhatWhy:

The judge’s decision to keep information about who has been struck from the panel in order not to give the remaining members of the panel ideas how eliminate themselves (or enhance their chances of getting selected) seems to me to be an implicit acknowledgment that getting a fair and impartial jury in this district is exceedingly difficult and maybe not possible, at least within a reasonable timeframe.

That’s an important piece of the puzzle to understand. Tsarnaev’s lawyers have thrice tried to get O’Toole to move the trial. He’s shut down every request. In the latest motion, the defense pointed out that 68 percent of the prospective jurors believe Tsarnaev is guilty.

Move It or Lose It?

So back to secrecy: things have been swathed in darkness for so long, The Globe isn’t even asking for the deliberations over jurors to be made public. The newspaper only wants the judge’s final decision from those discussions, and the numbers assigned to the dismissed jurors to be made public. (Jurors are only identified by a number).

Although the questioning of potential jurors has been conducted semi-publicly, O’Toole controls the audio-video feed through which all but two pool reporters observe the proceedings. He hasn’t been shy about switching it off, nor about sending the pool reporters out of the courtroom. That has added to a quiet and slowly growing chorus complaining about the restrictions.

These are just the latest objections. As far back as July 2013, lawyers for community newspaper publisher Gatehouse Media wrote to O’Toole, imploring him to consider the media’s and public’s Constitutional right to scrutinize legal proceedings. They argued that the large numbers of sealed motions and secret docket entries impeded that.

The judge doubtlessly has his reasons for both the secrecy and refusing to move the trial. As a judge subject to appellate court review, he will eventually have to spell those out. Given the importance of this case to the greater question of Constitutional rights in the post-9/11 world, O’Toole’s rulings matter by that yardstick alone.

What’s going to be interesting to watch is whether the judge’s predilection for secrecy will work against his refusal to move the trial from a city still traumatized by a gruesome terrorist act.

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daniel wilson

Darn. The whole time , when I read articles here I think “ok maybe NOW they get it was a drill and at least will show that by not mentioning to the contrary in this article” only to read something like the last few words in this article. So to you James Henry , I submit the only gruesome act was using a security drill to help frame the artificial narrative of North American terrorism. It blows my mind that whowhatwhy can almost admit that every single aspect to this case is sketchy but never ever not once address what the rest of the truth community if I dare call myself part of that , knows fully well.
The only people who believe that there was real gore at the scene are those who haven’t looked at it in depth or who just patently refuse to believe that such a thing could be set up.

johndissed

I think people should reconsider that critique of WWW. Looking at photos and videos for “proof” of anything just isn’t very journalistic. It doesn’t preclude any of the evidence put forth by WWW in their extensive work on this topic. You have plenty of other places to go for speculation.

daniel wilson

I like to think I always am open to change and my opinion on whowhatwhy is not fixed. I don’t think it’s wise to omit the absolute gold mine of photos and videos because for some reason one thinks the written word is the only valuable source of information. The fact vs. fact approach , or checking comment A against comment B does not by definition give as much information compared to if one includes physical and visual analysis. To discredit the actual crime scene itself “isn’t very journalistic”.

johndissed

It would be great to know that no one was actually hurt in this incident. I would love to know that. If the truth is that no one was, I think it will become apparent over time. I look at those photos and have no idea what they should look like, I’ve never studied crime scene photos at all. When someone is commenting about how the blood looks fake, or how someone looks, or is acting, I have no idea how it should look. Maybe blood looks like that in certain lighting when photographed with a particular lens. I’ve never seen blood in the street. I’ve never been in a situation like that or poured over photos and video of similar incidents. I think what drives this is 1) we all would love to know it was faked and no one was hurt, and 2) all the “evidence” is accompanied by someone dictating to us how everything looks wrong. I have not been convinced. I need more than just that to believe it.

Patriarch

So read the experts in special effects editing , Nathan Folks, Producer, one who has been speaking out, & was even poisoned after he did…

He became involved when he saw a cast member from his film the previous year, “The Prosecution of a President”, as one of the main characters, CARLOS Arrendondo, the cowboy hat “hero” who, on cue, had his hat ready on a fence to grab & like MIGHTY MOUSE, save the day. Naturally, a camera would track the hat & hero down Boylston street, although not a “smidgen” of “blood” had stained his garb – even from a “double amputee” he was pushing in an available wheelchair ( a gurney wouldn’t be gory enough for the Globe front page) for the cameras in a prone position – a no no, unless you want to bleed to death.

daniel wilson

the exceedingly slow march with Mrs. Corcoran makes me cringe. It’s unbelievable. I’ve mentioned it before I think somewhere but she just seems embarrassed exactly like she does at the “boston strong” concert.

johndissed

Thanks, had not read about Folks.

Patriarch

“Exposing the big Three”

Patriarch

Without visual evidence you have no case. Perhaps www merely doesn’t want to challenge the photos or the ones which were seized by LE at the scene.

Patriarch

Asto secrecy, it is PERSONALLY INCONVENIENT for O’Toole to leave Boston for 6 months, or risk losing control of the DOJ’s oversight:

EVERYTHING is fake, an intentional lie. The US gov is spitting on the justice system and Constitution. That’s not Tsarnaev. The nwo ma Fia needs the Constitution dead.

Tsarnaev is 5’7″ on record. The actor they’re bringing to court is over 6′ tall.

http://www.newyorker.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/tsarnaev-boston-court-580.jpeg

Tsarnaev with friends in NY city. The kid standing next to him (same height) is Dias Kadyrbaye, 5’6″ on record.

http://www.wbur.org/2013/08/08/marathon-bomb-obstruction-indictment

http://hollywoodlife.com/celeb/dias-kadyrbayev/

omniadeo

I too am critical of some of WWW’s assumptions, but you provide no evidence that the courtroom Tsarnaev is 6ft tall. A New Yorker courtroom sketch doesn’t cut it. (BTW, the FBI wanted poster says 5’9″. I have heard other )

As a follower of “conspiracy theories” for 40 years now, I am prepared to believe a lot. Do I think they are capable of switching defendants? You bet. I certainly know they create pasties for similar operations sometimes. (See Sirhan Sirhan.) But to convict or kill the real patsy is just as effective and a lot less risky.

I also know that various theories and theorists are planted to sidetrack debate and besmirch real researchers by association.

I am not saying you are one of those, but so far, I am not convinced by your research or arguments.

EyesWideOpen

Former FBI assistant director Thomas Fuentes:
“If you’re submitting budget proposals for a law enforcement agency, for an intelligence agency, you’re not going to submit the proposal that ‘We won the war on terror and everything’s great,’ cuz the first thing that’s gonna happen is your budget’s gonna be cut in half. You know, it’s my opposite of Jesse Jackson’s ‘Keep Hope Alive’—it’s ‘Keep Fear Alive.’ Keep it alive.”

https://privacysos.org/node/1660

Patriarch

The actor they’re bringing to court is over 6′ tall.
Although Tsarnaev is only 5’7″, this actor is taller than all the officers, and the Yukon doors.
They slow the camera footage to distort the perspective of his walk.
They had him grow a beard to disguise his face, and enhance the “ethnic” (emotional distraction).
They put a jacket on him to cover his size. No prisoner is given any clothing other than prison issue.
Not to mention, whoever that person is, he has been medicated WITHOUT A COMPETENCY HEARING.
Check out : the “prisoner” viewed from a helicopter camera arriving at Devens after his first appearance in public since June 2013
12-18-14 “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returns to Devens Prison”

EyesWideOpen

Former FBI assistant director Thomas Fuentes:
“If you’re submitting budget proposals for a law enforcement agency, for an intelligence agency, you’re not going to submit the proposal that ‘We won the war on terror and everything’s great,’ cuz the first thing that’s gonna happen is your budget’s gonna be cut in half. You know, it’s my opposite of Jesse Jackson’s ‘Keep Hope Alive’—it’s ‘Keep Fear Alive.’ Keep it alive.”

https://privacysos.org/node/1660

oh_look

You have to wonder what they have on this judge that he would do such a terrible thing.

VoxFox

The arrogance of some judges is unbelievable; I’m sure he thinks juries are irrelevant in this case as he personally believes the accused is guilty; doesn’t want to be contradicted by some weirdo jurists.