Boston Marathon Bombing: Trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Goes to the Jury

After the prosecution and defense gave their closing arguments, the judge handed the case over to the jurors

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Photo: FBI

It was the last chance for prosecutors and defense attorneys to address the jury.

In court on Monday, both sides gave their closing arguments in the case against accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev, 21, is charged with detonating two bombs during the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. The attack killed 3 people and injured more than 250 others – at least 17 of whom lost at least one limb.

In the morning, prosecutors summarized their case. As survivors and victims’ families looked on in the packed courtroom, U.S. Attorney Aloke Chakravarty said that Tsarnaev intentionally harmed as many people as possible.

“He chose a day when there would be civilians on sidewalks,” Chakravarty told the jury. “Men, women and children, because he wanted to make a point. He wanted to punish America for what it was doing to his people. So that’s what he did.”

As the prosecution spoke, jurors saw graphic photos of the carnage. Chakravarty emphasized the apparent cowardice of the act. “He and his brother killed two young women and a little boy.”

The Defense Closing Statement

On Monday afternoon, it was the defense’s turn.

From the beginning, Tsarnaev has never denied that he was involved in the bombing.

“It was him,” defense attorney Judy Clarke bluntly told jurors during opening statements.

But throughout the trial, Clarke has tried to convince jurors that Dzhokhar’s older brother Tamerlan was the mastermind behind the bombing and that Dzhokhar had just followed along.

“If not for Tamerlan, it wouldn’t have happened,” Clarke told jurors during closing arguments.

“Tamerlan murdered officer Sean Collier,” Clarke said, referring to the police shoot-out that left Tamerlan dead. “And Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was right there with him.”

Clarke acknowledged the gravity of the case. “For this suffering and profound loss, there is no excuse,” she told jurors. “No one is trying to make one.”

The case now goes into the hands of the jury. They will begin deliberating on Tuesday morning.

Tsarnaev faces 30 felony counts in the attack. If he is convicted, the jury will decide whether he should get the death penalty.

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