Professor Andy Horwitz compares upcoming, high-profile trials of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez

Upcoming Events

Attorney General Open Government Summit

Attorney General Open Government Summit

No upcoming events.

Trending@RWULaw

06/01/2015
By Dean Michael J. Yelnosky
Monday, May 11th began a week-long celebration of the graduation of the Class of 2015, culminating in commencement exercises on Friday, May 15th.   Monday’s event was a reception for the...


Affordable Excellence at RWU LAW

Archives

Newsroom

Tsarnaev Trial vs. Hernandez Trial

Professor Andy Horwitz compares upcoming, high-profile trials of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez

From WPRI: "Tsarnaev, Hernandez trials will be very different" by Dan McGowan, WPRI.com Reporter

Hernandez - TsarnaevPROVIDENCE, R.I., Jan. 8, 2015 (WPRI) – They’re taking place simultaneously in Massachusetts, but the trials of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez are going to play out in different ways over the next several months.

So what won’t the two trials have in common?

WPRI.com asked former U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Robert Corrente and Andy Horowitz, the director of clinical programs and the criminal defense clinic at Roger Williams University School of Law, for a complete breakdown.

[...]

3. Hernandez has private attorneys.
The former New England Patriots star has a high-priced legal team that includes Michael Fee and criminal defense attorneys James Sultan and Charles Rankin. Sultan and Rankin said in May that they might decline to continue to represent Hernandez because their retainer was limited to certain legal proceedings, but they have continued to appear in court with him since. Tsarnaev, on the other hand, is being represented by a taxpayer-funded public defender, Miriam Conrad. But that doesn’t mean Tsarnaev’s attorney is “your run-of-the-mill court-appointed lawyer,” RWU’s Horowitz noted – Conrad is considered one of the top public defenders in the country. She previously represented Rezwan Ferdaus, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison in 2012 for plotting to blow up the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol building.

4. The Tsarnaev trial will be longer because it’s more complicated.
Horowitz said he expects Tsarnaev’s trial to last several months but Hernandez’s case to be completed in several weeks. He noted that while both are murder trials, Tsarnaev’s case is “much more of a puzzle that needs to be figured out,” whereas Hernandez is involved in a “bread-and-butter murder case.” It is also likely that far more witnesses will testify in the Marathon bombing trial, he said.

[...]

7. Neither trial will be “normal.”
If you want to understand the legal process, “it would be much more educational for a member of the public to come see a standard bread-and-butter murder trial,” Horowitz said. The high-profile nature of the Tsarnaev and Hernandez trials will make them play out more like trials you see in the movies, he said, but in reality most murder cases are tried with very little fanfare.

For full story, click here.