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Jury Will Hear Final Arguments In Sentencing Of Boston Marathon Bomber

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Getty Images
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

A jury in Boston will hear final arguments in the sentencing of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

After hearing from the defense and prosecution, the jury will decide whether Tsarnaev should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

The twin bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon killed three people and injured more than 200.

The New York Times reports:

"During the four-month trial, prosecutors have portrayed Tsarnaev as a callous, unrepentant terrorist who carried out the deadly attack with his radicalized older brother, Tamerlan. They say he deserves the death penalty.

"Tsarnaev's lawyers admitted he participated in the bombings, but told the jury he was 'a good kid' who was led down the path to terrorism by Tamerlan, who wanted to punish the U.S. for its actions in Muslim countries. They've asked the jury to spare his life."

As we've reported, back in April, the jury found Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts brought against him. Seventeen of them carry the death penalty.

Throughout the trial, jurors heard from about 150 witnesses. They heard lots of emotional testimony from the victims of the bombings and the family of those who died. Tsarnaev did not testify.

NPR's Tovia Smith, who has been covering, the trial reported that Tsarnaev basically say "stone-faced" throughout the proceedings.

The only insight into his thoughts came from death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean, best known for her book Dead Man Walking. Prejean testified that met with Tsarnaev five times.

Tovia reported: "There was a lot she couldn't say, but she did manage to signal to jurors that there might be — might be — some remorse."

Prosecutors countered her testimony saying she's coming at this from a bias perspective, because she opposes the death penalty in any and all cases.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating this afternoon.

Member station WBUR is live tweeting from the courtroom:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.