Boston bomber convicted, may face death penalty

Updated: 2015-04-09 09:19


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Boston bomber convicted, may face death penalty

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Karen Brassard, center, speaks outside federal court alongside Carlos Arredondo, left, Liz Norden, rear, and Laurie Scher, right, April 8, 2015, in Boston where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted on multiple charges in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. [Photo/IC]


With Tsarnaev's guilt established, the trial now moves into a second phase where prosecutors and defense attorneys will call another round of witnesses. The jury will decide whether to sentence him to death or life in prison without possibility of parole. That phase begins next week.

Tsarnaev's lawyers have indicated that they plan to show that his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan was the driving force behind the attack, a contention they hope will persuade the jury to spare his life.

In a stark contrast to defense attorney Judith Clarke's opening-statement admission of Tsarnaev's guilt in placing the bombs, she turned her attention during last week's closing argument to the making of the bombs.

"Tamerlan did that," Clarke said, contending that without the older brother there would have been no attack. Tamerlan died early on April 19, 2013, after Dzhokhar ran him over with a car while fleeing a gunfight with police.

The amount of time spent in the jury room suggests the jurors were thorough in considering the charges, said David Weinstein, an attorney in private practice who in prior jobs as a state and local prosecutor brought death-penalty cases.

"If this was a fait accompli, they would have been out in the amount of time it takes to shuffle through 30 pieces of paper," Weinstein said. "Sentencing deliberations are likely to take longer.

Federal prosecutors detailed jihadi writings, including a copy of al Qaeda's "Inspire" magazine with an article on bomb-making found on of Tsarnaev's computers, describing that as evidence that he was an extremist who wanted to "punish America."

"We are gratified by the jury's verdict," said Carmen Ortiz, US attorney for Massachusetts, who oversaw the prosecution. "As we enter this next phase, we are focused on the work that remains to be done."