US

Ex-Massachusetts governor writes support letter for Tsarnaev friend as judge ponders sentence

  • FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2014, file photo, former Massachusetts Governor and Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis leaves Federal Court after testifying in the Robel Phillipos trial in Boston. Dukakis has written a letter of support for a friend of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Robel Phillipos, as a judge prepares to sentence him for lying to the FBI days after the 2013 bombings. Phillipos is one of two Tsarnaev friends scheduled to be sentenced Friday, June 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2014, file photo, former Massachusetts Governor and Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis leaves Federal Court after testifying in the Robel Phillipos trial in Boston. Dukakis has written a letter of support for a friend of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Robel Phillipos, as a judge prepares to sentence him for lying to the FBI days after the 2013 bombings. Phillipos is one of two Tsarnaev friends scheduled to be sentenced Friday, June 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2014, file photo, Robel Phillipos, center, leaves federal court with defense attorney Derege Demissie, right, after he was convicted in Boston on two counts of lying about being in the dorm room of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev three days after the bombing in 2013, while two other friends removed a backpack containing fireworks and other potential evidence. Phillipos is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, June 5, 2015, in federal court in Boston. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2014, file photo, Robel Phillipos, center, leaves federal court with defense attorney Derege Demissie, right, after he was convicted in Boston on two counts of lying about being in the dorm room of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev three days after the bombing in 2013, while two other friends removed a backpack containing fireworks and other potential evidence. Phillipos is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, June 5, 2015, in federal court in Boston. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • David Archibald, a juror in the federal trial of Azamat Tazhayakov, speaks to media outside federal court where Tazhayakov was sentenced to 3-1/2 years in prison Friday, June 5, 2015, in Boston. Tazhayakov was convicted of obstruction of justice and conspiracy for removing the backpack and laptop computer from the dorm room of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

    David Archibald, a juror in the federal trial of Azamat Tazhayakov, speaks to media outside federal court where Tazhayakov was sentenced to 3-1/2 years in prison Friday, June 5, 2015, in Boston. Tazhayakov was convicted of obstruction of justice and conspiracy for removing the backpack and laptop computer from the dorm room of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)  (The Associated Press)

Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis has written a letter of support for a friend of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) as a judge prepares to sentence him for lying to the FBI days after the 2013 bombings.

Robel Phillipos is one of two Tsarnaev friends scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Dukakis, a friend of Phillipos' family, testified during his trial. In a letter to Judge Douglas Woodlock, Dukakis said he "can't understand why justice would be served by incarcerating him."

Azamat Tazhayakov (AZ'-maht tuh-ZAY'-uh-kahv) also faces sentencing Friday. Tazhayakov was convicted of obstruction of justice and conspiracy for removing Tsarnaev's backpack and laptop computer from his dorm room with another friend.

Prosecutors have recommended a 4-year sentence for Tazhayakov. They haven't said what kind of sentence they're seeking for Phillipos.