Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tsarnaev friend could be freed under Supreme Court ruling

A college friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may move to have his obstruction of justice conviction overturned, his lawyer said, after the US Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a ruling that redefined the law that prosecutors used to charge him.

Azamat Tazhayakov, a University of Massachusetts Dartmouth classmate of Tsarnaev, was tried and convicted in US District Court in Boston last year under a stringent obstruction of justice law that was enacted in the wake of numerous Wall Street scandals in which company officials destroyed internal records.

The nation’s high court ruled Wednesday that federal prosecutors could not use that law to charge a Florida fisherman who had thrown undersized fish back into the water to avoid an investigation.

That obstruction of justice charge, which the majority of justices agreed was meant to address paperwork and computers destroyed to avoid detection, provides for a tougher penalty than other obstruction laws.


No comments: