Accused Boston bomber scrawled messages expecting death -lawyers

Reuters

BOSTON, Nov 5 (Reuters) - The messages that accused BostonMarathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote on the inside walls ofthe boat he hid in during a police manhunt four days after theattack were intended to explain his actions should he die, hislawyers argued.

The accused bomber, who faces the possibility of executionif convicted on charges tied to the April 15 attack that killedthree people and injured 264, did not intend to incite furtherviolence with messages including "the U.S. government is killingour innocent civilians" and "I can't stand to see such evil gounpunished," defense attorneys said in court papers filed lateon Monday.

"On their face, Mr. Tsarnaev's alleged words simply statethe motive for his actions, a declaration in anticipation of hisown death. There is no express call for others to take up arms,"the 20-year-old defendant's lawyers said.

Prosecutors have argued that Tsarnaev poses both a safetyrisk to prison officials and that his words could inspire othersto plan attacks similar to the Boston Marathon incident, whereDzhokhar Tsarnaev and his other brother, Tamerlan, planted apair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the crowded finishline.

"While the government may view these words as an implied'clarion call' to other would-be radicals ... it was lawenforcement that originally leaked existence of the alleged boatwritings to the press and it is the government that continues tobroadcast the 'clarion' by repeating, emphasizing, andattributing inspirational significance to these words," thefiling said.

A June filing by prosecutors, which charged Tsarnaev withthe April 15 bombing and the murder of a university policeofficer three days later, provided detail on the messages theethnic Chechen, who had lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, wroteas he hid in a boat dry-docked in Watertown, Massachusetts.

The notes also included "we Muslims are one body, you hurtone you hurt us all" and "stop killing our innocent people andwe will stop."

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a late night gun battle withpolice on April 18, as the two brothers were preparing to fleethe city. Dzhokhar escaped that fight and hid in the boat inWatertown, prompting a day-long lockdown of most of the Bostonarea.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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