FOR THE WEEK OF JAN. 19, 2015
Jury-picking is under way in Boston Marathon deadly bombing trial
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Federal court jury selection is under way in Boston for a sensational trial that’s sure to make headlines for weeks. The criminal defendant is a shaggy-haired, bearded 21-year-old named Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (pronounced Joe-CARR SAAR-neigh-YEVV). He's accused of planning and carrying out two Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 that killed three people near the finish line and injured about 260 others -- the worst terrorism attack in America since 9/11.
Authorities say Tsarnaev carried out the plot with his older brother, Tamerlan, who died three days later in a police shootout. The defendant faces 30 charges, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction. He’s also accused of killing a campus police officer as the brothers fled. Prosecutors say the brothers, Russians from the restive Republic of Chechnya, carried out the bombings in retaliation for U.S. wars in Muslim countries.
Defense lawyers failed to get the trail moved out of Boston. When it starts, possibly as early as Jan. 26, they're expected to argue that their client had a difficult childhood and was strongly influenced by his brother. It's the most closely watched U.S. terror case since the prosecutionr of a man accused of bombing an Oklahoma City federal building in 1995. (He was convicted in 1997 and executed in 2001.) If Massachusetts jurors in the current case convict the former college student, they then will hear arguments for a decision on whether he'll receive the death penalty or life in prison.
Victim says: "I want to understand what the thought process was. Why he would want to do this to people? . . . It's really hard to understand." -- Heather Abbott of Newport, R.I., who lost part of a leg in the attack
Columnist writes: "The evidence against Tsarnaev is overwhelming. . . . I doubt Tsarnaev can get what legal purists call a fair trial, not just in Boston but anywhere." -- Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe
Jury candidate says: "There's no way in modern America today . . . that I am going to vote for the death penalty. I will not." – Unnamed jury pool member tojudge last Thursday
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