justice for azamat

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This undated picture above shows three of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s friends who were taken into custody after the Boston Marathon Bombing event on April 15, 2013. (from left to right, Robel Phillipos, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev) Below it is a court sketch of Tazkayakov, Kadyrbayev and Phillipos in that order. (May 13, 2014) 

Dias Kadyrbayev was sentenced to six years in prison for his role in retrieving, and later disposing of, evidence in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, specifically Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s backpack, containing fireworks and other items, as well as his role in concealing Tsarnaev’s laptop computer from law enforcement. Kadyrbayev previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct justice and obstructing justice with the intent to impede the Boston Marathon bombing investigation. Kadyrbayev has agreed to be deported to Kazakhstan from the United States after serving his sentence.

Azamat Tazhayakov was sentenced  to three and a half years in prison for obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges. Tazhayakov was convicted after prosecutors said he and one other friend helped the marathon bombers by disposing of evidence. Tazahayakov was accused of removing a backpack and laptop from Tsarnaev’s UMass Dartmouth dorm room when asked to in the days following the attacks. He could have faced up to 25 years behind bars, but the prosecution asked that he only receive four. The prosecutors said that Tazhayakov was more cooperative with the investigation than Dias Kadyrbayev. Tazhayakov will also be deported back to Kazakhstan after his time. 

Robel Phillipos was handed a three-year sentence for lying to the FBI about being in Tsarnaev’s dorm room days after the bombings. The judge said Phillipos was to blame for a “substantial diversion” of law enforcement resources. “There’s a price to be paid for the failure of responsibility,” Judge Douglas Woodlock said. Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of a little more than five years in prison. Phillipos’ lawyers had asked for two years of home confinement. The sentence ultimately given to Phillipos was the most lenient penalty imposed on the three friends who were charged. Dukakis, a friend of Phillipos’ family and the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, wrote a letter of support for him and even testified during his trial. In his letter to the judge, Dukakis wrote that he “can’t understand why justice would be served by incarcerating him.” Unlike his friends (Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev) Phillipos is an American citizen and will remain in the United States after he has served his time.