Tsarnaev Defense Prepares to Present Case | NECN
Tsarnaev Trial

Tsarnaev Trial

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death

Tsarnaev Defense Prepares to Present Case

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    NEWSLETTERS

    With Dzhokhar Tsarnaev convicted for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings, and with the government having rested in the sentencing phase, attorneys for the bomber will now fight for life in prison instead of execution. (Published Friday, April 24, 2015)

    Jurors have seen the video of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pacing around in his jail cell, they've seen him with his now deceased brother Tamerlan visiting a shooting range, they've seen the surveillance of him walking down Boylston Street and placing a bomb in front of Forum Restaurant moments before it explodes.

    Now it's the defense team's turn to try to paint a different picture of their client in an attempt to spare his life.

    "That's all the defense wants to do is to mitigate his responsibility enough so that the jury, at least one juror believes that he should just be given life without parole," said necn legal editor Randy Chapman.

    Chapman says to do that the defense will likely call to the stand social workers apsychologists to examine who Dzhokhar Tsarnaev really is and, more importantly, who he was.

    "What kind of kid was he, the lack of criminal history, the fact that he was going to college," said Chapman, "the fact that he operated successfully within the community up until he was influenced by his brother Tamerlan."

    Chapman says he doesn't see it as a coincidence that several of Tsarnaev's relatives flew into Boston Thursday.

    "I think if they were going to support him in court you probably would have seen them earlier," said Chapman, "I think they probably were flown in, possibly with money paid for by the government, to support his defense, I think that likely you'll hear some of them testify."

    Chapman says with the relaxed evidence rules in the penalty phase, the defense will have a lot more leeway in terms of what it can present.

    "You just don't know what surprises here can be because they've held their cards quite close to the vest," said Chapman.

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