Faculty Notes

Prof. Eric M. Freedman Comments in Boston Globe Story on Marathon Bombing Trial Opening Statements

Eric M. Freedman, Siggi B. Wilzig Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Rights

Opening statements today in Marathon bombing trial
By Milton J. Valencia
The Boston Globe
March 3, 2015


Legal analysts say the defense team will probably present the narrative of a coercive older brother from the beginning of opening statements, not to declare Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s innocence, but to imprint a consistent theme on the jurors that he is more deserving of a sentence of life in prison.

“You can expect that the opening statements will be entirely upfront and honest with the jury about the total picture,” said Eric M. Freedman, a law professor at Hofstra University School of Law.

He said defense lawyers would probably use both stages of the trial as a “single entity” and make their case consistently from the beginning.

“It’s very important because it goes to the whole idea that you lay your cards on the table for the jury and hope they have a favorable response to the entire picture,” Freedman said.

Read the full article.