The same Boston jury that convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is expected to begin deliberating today whether the 21-year-old will be put to death.


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U.S. District Judge George O’Toole gave the jury instructions this morning for deliberations, after which both the defense and prosecution will make their closing arguments in the penalty phase of the case.

Tsarnaev was convicted of 30 counts related to the deadly April 2013 bombing, 17 of which carried the potential for the death penalty. If the jury unanimously decides he deserves death for just one of those, he will receive the ultimate punishment, pending appeals. Otherwise, Tsarnaev will spend the rest of his life in a Supermax prison without the possibility of parole.

“The choice between these very serious alternatives is yours and yours alone to make,” O’Toole told jurors.

Three people were killed, including an eight-year-old boy, when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and his brother Tamerlan, detonated twin bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Days later Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police, but Dzhokhar was captured as he hid in a dry-docked boat in a Boston suburb.

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