End of day: The defense opened by acknowledging that jurors “had seen more pain, horror and grief than they could ever imagine” during this trial. "We are asking you to judge Dzhokhar by imprisoning him for the rest of his life" said his attorney David Bruck, who showed the jury a grim photo of Colorado Maximum security prison (the ADX) where Tsarnaev would live the rest of his life without book deals or news interviews if the 12 men and women of the jury opt for life.
Bruck laid out on monitors a map of the Caucasus region of Russia and sought to trace Tsarnaev family dysfunction all the way back to Joseph Stalin’s’ mass deportation of native Chechens to Kyrgyzstan a thousand miles away. That explains why Dzhokhar grew up thousands of miles from Chechnya, said Bruck. The Tsarnaevs arrived in Cambridge in 2002. Both parents, Anzor and Zubeidat, within years were diagnosed with serious mental disorders and that left Tamerlan in charge, said Bruck. He was recalled by various witnesses, including an Imam from the Cambridge Mosque, as intimidating and a guy with a temper.
Bruck asked the jury: "If Tamerlan had not been in the picture would Dzhokhar have done this on his own?" The defense is trying to convince at least one jury member to conclude no. A death penalty decision requires a unanimous jury verdict.
Attorney David Bruck focused on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s family history in court today, and paid special attention to his family’s roots in the Caucasus region of Central Asia.
Bruck told jurors that Tsarnaev grew up in a deeply unstable family — that his mother Zubeidat and older brother Tamerlan embraced radical Islam together — and that, when Tsarnaev’s parents dropped out of the picture, cultural norms dictated that he had to follow Tamerlan’s lead. Bruck also suggested that life in prison at a maximum security facility in Colorado would be a fate worse than death.
The defense's final witness today was Robert Ponte, a music teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School who taught Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2004. He described letting Tamerlan into the jazz ensemble even though his piano skills weren’t up to snuff, and then, Tamerlan’s ire when he was kicked out of the group.
"He didn’t yell at me, but I guess, fair to say, he glared at me," Ponte recalled.
If the defense thought that would bolster its characterization of Tamerlan as a frighteningly domineering older brother, it may have failed. Prosecutor Nadine Pelligrini was incredulous.
“We’re talking about a class Tamerlan took in 2004?” she asked. “He wanted to be in the jazz ensemble, but couldn’t play the piano very well?”
— Adam Reilly
The mother-in-law of Tamerlan Tsarnaev has cried while recounting to a jury how she found out that Tamerlan was one of the Boston Marathon bombers.
Judith Russell testified Monday for the defense in the federal death penalty trial of Tamerlan's younger brother, Dzhokhar. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted of all 30 charges against him and now could be sentenced to death. Tamerlan died days after the bombings following a gun battle with police.
Russell says she learned from her daughter, Katherine, that Tamerlan had been killed. Russell says she and other relatives went to Cambridge that day to get Katherine and her granddaughter. She called the bombing "horrific" and says she just wanted her daughter out of there.
The defense hopes to emphasize the role Tamerlan played in the bombings.
The defense in the Boston Marathon bombing trial has called Tamerlan Tsarnaev's mother-in-law to the stand in his brother's federal death penalty case.
Judith Russell said Monday that she and her husband were not happy when their daughter, Katherine, began dating Tamerlan Tsarnaev and tried to encourage her to break off their relationship after she learned Tamerlan had cheated on her.
Russell says Tamerlan didn't have a job and the only thing he seemed interested in was boxing.
Tamerlan later married Katherine, and they had a daughter together.
Tamerlan and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, committed the 2013 bombings. Tamerlan died after a gun battle with police, and Dzhokhar was found guilty of all charges against him. A jury will decide whether to sentence him to death.
An acquaintance has testified that Tamerlan Tsarnaev criticized the U.S. government's actions abroad about four months before the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
Robert Barnes spoke Monday during the penalty phase of the federal trial of Tamerlan's younger brother, Dzhokhar. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted of all 30 charges against him, and the jury will now decide whether he should be executed for his crimes.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died days after the April 15, 2013, bombings following a gun battle with police.
Barnes says he and Tamerlan spoke in December 2012 at a pizzeria in Cambridge. Barnes says Tamerlan was "very passionate" in his criticisms.
He says Tamlerlan became aggressive when another man criticized Tsarnaev's religion for how it treated women. Barnes says Tamerlan poked him in the chest.
One of the first defense witnesses to testify in the penalty phase of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial has described an incident at a mosque when his older brother, Tamerlan, became angry and interrupted prayer services.
Imam Loay Assaf testified Monday that Tamerlan Tsarnaev got very angry during one service in 2013 when Assaf praised Martin Luther King Jr. and compared him to the Prophet Muhammad.
Assaf says Tamerlan interrupted the service, shouting at him and calling him a "hypocrite."
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died days after the 2013 bombings following a gun battle with police.
Jurors will decide whether Dzhokhar deserves life in prison or execution for his crimes.
The defense is hoping to show that Tamerlan was more radicalized than Dzhokhar and more responsible for the attacks.
Attorney David Bruck focused on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s family history in court today, and paid special attention to his family’s roots in the Caucasus region of central asia.
Bruck told jurors that Tsarnaev grew up in a deeply unstable family—that his mother Zubeidat and older brother Tamerlan embraced radical Islam together—and that, when Tsarnaev’s parents dropped out of the picture, cultural norms dictated that he had to follow Tamerlan’s lead.
Bruck also suggested that life in prison at a maximum security facility in Colorado would be a fate worse than death.
A lawyer for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev says a photo of him flipping his middle finger at a security camera in a jail cell was the work of an "immature 19-year-old."
Attorney David Bruck addressed the photo Monday in his opening statement of the penalty phase of Tsarnaev's federal trial.
The photo caused a sensation last week when prosecutors showed it to the jury that will decide whether Tsarnaev lives or dies. The images were taken three months after the April 2013 marathon bombings killed three people and injured more than 260 others.
Prosecutors told the jury the photo showed an "unconcerned, unrepentant and unchanged" Tsarnaev.
Bruck tried to downplay the photo, saying all it meant was "that he was acting like an immature 19-year-old."
A lawyer for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is focusing heavily on Tsarnaev's late older brother, saying he led the 2013 bombing plot and provided the fuel to drive the plan.
Attorney David Bruck worked to pin much of the blame on Tamerlan Tsarnaev in his opening statement Monday. Jurors have convicted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of all 30 charges against him and will decide whether he lives or dies.
Bruck says 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was loud and aggressive, got into fights and failed at everything he did. He says 21-year-old Dzhokhar was a good student in high school, beloved by his teachers, and he never got into a fight.
Bruck says Dzhokhar was a "good kid."
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following a gun battle with police days after the bombing.
A lawyer for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is urging the jury to send him to prison for the rest of his life, saying, "There is no point in trying to hurt him as he hurt because it can't be done."
Attorney David Bruck gave opening statements Monday in the penalty phase of Tsarnaev's trial for the 2013 attacks. Jurors will decide whether Tsarnaev should spend the rest of his life in prison or should be sentenced to death.
Bruck says there's no punishment Tsarnaev can receive that would be equal to the suffering of the victims. He says, "There is no evening the scales."
Three people were killed and more than 260 others were injured in the twin bombings.