by Jon Roland, Constitution Society
The Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with multiple federal offenses, but none of them are authorized by the U.S. Constitution for offenses committed on state territory, as the acts in Boston were. If the federal courts were constitutionally compliant, they would be compelled to dismiss them all, and let the State of Massachusetts prosecute him under its laws.
The following is a summary of the main federal charges:
- Use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and conspiracy.
- Bombing of a place of public use resulting in death and conspiracy.
- Malicious destruction of property resulting in death and conspiracy.
- Use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
- Use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.
- Carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury.
- Interference with commerce by threats or violence.
- Aiding and abetting.
Contrast this with the following, taken from the second of the unanimous Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, written by Thomas Jefferson, summarizing original understanding of the U.S. Constitution:Details