May 13, 2015 12:52 PM
Latest on Boston trial: Prosecutor says bomber earned death
The Associated Press
Federal prosecutors say executing Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) won't make him a martyr but will give him the death he deserves.
Prosecutor Steven Mellin wrapped up his closing argument Wednesday by telling jurors they shouldn't think a life sentence is somehow worse punishment than the death penalty.
Mellin says Tsarnaev doesn't want to die that he had ample opportunities to martyr himself during and after the 2013 bombings but "he made a different choice."
He says a death sentence won't give Tsarnaev what he wants but what he deserves.
The defense is to deliver its closing argument after lunch, followed by a prosecution rebuttal. The jury could get the case later Wednesday.
A federal prosecutor says Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) sadistically wanted not just to kill his victims but to also make them suffer.
Prosecutor Steven Mellin says in closing arguments that Tsarnaev wanted to cause as much pain as possible with the bombs placed near the crowded marathon finish line in 2013. He says the 21-year-old convicted last month of all 30 federal counts against him "wanted to torment them to make a political statement."
Mellin told the jury Wednesday that Tsarnaev's bombs "burned their skin, shattered their bones and ripped their flesh." He says killing people wasn't enough Tsarnaev wanted to shred them apart.
He says Tsarnaev and his elder brother, Tamerlan, were "partners in crime and brothers in arms."
The government says Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) deserves to die for the carnage he inflicted on children and other innocents.
Prosecutor Steven Mellin says in closing arguments Wednesday that Tsarnaev killed indiscriminately to make a political statement. He and his brother planted bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others in 2013.
Mellin says: "His actions have earned him a sentence of death."
He showed jurors happy photos of the victims before the bombings and contrasted those with images of them covered in blood. He says Tsarnaev showed no remorse and proved it by buying a gallon of milk minutes after the attacks.
The jury is expected to get the case later Wednesday and will begin deliberating Tsarnaev's sentence: execution or life imprisonment without parole.
A federal prosecutor says in closing arguments that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) wanted to kill as many people as he could.
Prosecutor Steve Mellin told the jury Wednesday that Tsarnaev felt justified in killing and maiming innocent men, women and children when he helped plant the bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others near the marathon finish line in 2013.
Mellin showed jurors a large photograph of 8-year-old victim Martin Richard and other children standing on a metal barricade near where Tsarnaev placed his bomb.
He showed another photo of people lying bloody and dying on the sidewalk, saying: "This is what terrorism looks like."
The jury is expected to get the case later Wednesday and will begin deliberating Tsarnaev's sentence.
Jurors who will decide whether Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) lives or dies will consider mitigating factors against imposing the death penalty.
U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. has summarized 21 mitigating factors cited by Tsarnaev's lawyers. Those include his age at the time of the 2013 attacks 19 and the influence of his radicalized older brother, Tamerlan.
They also include his father's mental illness and brain damage, which the defense says made Tamerlan the dominant figure in Dzhokhar's life. And they include Dzhokhar's expressions of "sorrow and remorse" for what he did and for the suffering he caused.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys are preparing to make their closing arguments Wednesday. The jury is expected to get the case later in the day.
The federal judge presiding over the Boston Marathon bombing trial has walked jurors through a complicated 24-page verdict form they'll have to use when they begin deliberating Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehvz) fate.
U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. spent nearly an hour Wednesday explaining the form to the jury the same one that convicted Tsarnaev last month of all 30 federal counts against him.
The jury will have to consider aggravating factors that would support the death penalty and mitigating factors that might steer them instead to a sentence of life imprisonment.
Jurors are expected to start deliberating later Wednesday, but it could take them a while to reach a sentence. The bombings near the finish line of the 2013 marathon killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.
Tears, smiles and other emotions on display during the Boston Marathon bombing trial can't be considered evidence.
That's what the federal judge overseeing the proceedings in federal court has told jurors ahead of closing arguments in the penalty phase of the case.
U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. says the appearance or demeanor of convicted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) or anyone else in the courtroom is off limits.
Tsarnaev appeared impassive through much of the trial, but he wiped away tears when his Russian aunt broke down and sobbed uncontrollably on the witness stand.
Jurors are expected to start deliberating on a sentence later Wednesday. Tsarnaev faces the death penalty or life imprisonment w for the 2013 bombings. Three people died and more than 260 others were wounded.
The federal judge overseeing the trial of the Boston Marathon bomber has told jurors they only have two choices for punishing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) life in prison without the possibility of release or the death penalty.
U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. told the jury Wednesday: "The choice between these very serious alternatives is yours and yours alone to make."
The jury is the same one that convicted Tsarnaev last month of all 30 counts against him. Jurors could begin deliberations later Wednesday.
All 12 jurors will have to agree on the death penalty for it to be imposed. If just one balks, Tsarnaev will be sentenced to prison.
Three people were killed and more than 260 injured when bombs exploded near the finish line April 15, 2013.
Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) is back in federal court for closing arguments from prosecutors arguing he should be executed and defense attorneys hoping for mercy and life imprisonment.
Tsarnaev is sitting between his lawyers at the defense table and appears to be looking through some papers, while resting his face on his hand.
Prosecutors have portrayed Tsarnaev as a callous, unrepentant terrorist who carried out the deadly 2013 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 heavily influenced by Tamerlan.
Three people were killed and more than 260 injured when twin bombs exploded near the finish line. The jury could begin deliberating later Wednesday.