A jury began deliberating on Tuesday in the trial of Dzokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused of carrying out the 2013 bombing attack on the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 264 others.
Tsarnaev, 21, is also charged with shooting a police officer to death three days after prosecutors contend he and his older brother set of a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the race’s crowded finish line on April 15, 2013.
The question of whether the ethnic Chechen defendant is guilty of 30 criminal counts may be the easy part of the jury’s job. If they find him guilty, the same 12 jurors will hear a second round of evidence before determining whether to sentence Tsarnaev to death or to life in prison without possibility of parole.
Defense lawyer Judy Clarke readily admitted her client’s responsibility on Monday but contended that 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been the driving force behind the attack. Tamerlan died early on April 19, 2013 after his brother ran him over with a car at the end of a gunfight with police.