Jury to decide if Boston bomber lives or dies
BOSTON—Now that a jury has convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on all charges, even more is at stake in the next phase: The same 12 people must decide whether the 21-year-old lives or dies.
Tsarnaev was found guilty of 30 counts against him, including deadly use of a weapon of mass destruction. Seventeen of those charges are punishable by death.
The jury must agree unanimously for Tsarnaev to receive a death sentence; otherwise the penalty will be life behind bars.
The defense lawyers will make a case that Tsarnaev’s life should be spared.
The defense gave a preview of its case when it insisted that Tsarnaev was strongly influenced by his radicalized older brother Tamerlan, who was said to have masterminded the attack.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers are expected to explore the brothers’ relationship more deeply and perhaps bring in evidence about Tsarnaev’s life in Russia and the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, where the family lived before moving to the United States.
Legal analysts said they don’t expect the defense case to contain any new revelations about Tsarnaev.
“The crime is so horrific that they don’t have much else really to point to, other than his age and the influence of his older brother,” said Dan Collins, a former federal prosecutor.
Survivors described losing legs in the blasts or watching people die.
The parents of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the attacks, crammed into the gallery to hear the verdict.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.