May 13, 2015

4:55 p.m.

Jurors have wrapped up their first day of deliberations on a sentence for the Boston Marathon bomber.

U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. excused the jury Wednesday after 45 minutes of deliberation.

The jury will reconvene Thursday. It must decide whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) gets the death penalty for the 2013 attack or spends the rest of his life in prison.

Execution will require a unanimous decision. If just one juror balks, Tsarnaev will get a life sentence. The same jury convicted him last month of all 30 counts against him.

Prosecutors insisted in closing arguments that he should be put to death for the bombing, which killed three people and wounded 260 others. The defense says he was influenced by his radicalized older brother and should be spared.

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4:05 p.m.

The jury that convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) has begun deliberating whether he should be sentenced to life in prison or execution by lethal injection.

Jurors got the case late Wednesday afternoon after federal prosecutors made their final impassioned arguments that Tsarnaev should be put to death and his lawyers asked for mercy.

Death or life in prison without parole are the only two options for the jury, which last month found Tsarnaev guilty of all 30 federal counts against him in the April 15, 2013, bombing. Seventeen of those counts carry the death penalty, but the jury must reach a unanimous decision for it to be imposed.

Three spectators were killed and more than 260 others wounded in the attacks near the marathon finish line.

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3:50 p.m.

Closing arguments in the Boston Marathon bombing trial have concluded with a rebuttal from the prosecution urging the jury to sentence Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) to death.

Federal prosecutor William Weinreb noted that the alternative - life imprisonment - is the minimum punishment allowed under the law.

Weinreb argued that Tsarnaev deserves to be executed for the 2013 attack, which killed three spectators and one police officer and wounded more than 260 other people.

He said Tsarnaev being locked in a prison cell for the rest of his life won't mean an end to what he called ''the callousness and indifference that allows you to destroy peoples' lives, to ignore their pain, to shrug off their heartbreak.''

Jurors are expected to start their deliberations after final instructions from the judge.

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3 p.m.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehvz) lawyer is urging a jury to combine justice with mercy by sending the Boston Marathon bomber to prison for the rest of his life rather than to death row.

Judy Clarke wrapped up her closing argument with an impassioned plea for a life sentence. Clarke says Tsarnaev will be locked away in a bleak environment with no glory or stature that martyrdom can bring if he were executed instead.

Clarke said Wednesday that Tsarnaev will die in prison either way, but the question is when and how. She asked the jury to choose life - ''yes, even for the Boston Marathon bomber.''

Clarke said that would be ''a decision of strength'' and a show of Boston's resilience since the deadly 2013 attack.

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2:30 p.m.

The Boston Marathon bomber's defense says the death penalty should be reserved for ''the worst of the worst,'' and that's not Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv).

Judy Clarke says the 2013 attack never would have happened without Tsarnaev's elder brother, Tamerlan, a radicalized ''jihadi wannabe.''

Clarke tells the jury in her closing argument Wednesday: ''Dzhokhar is not the worst of the worst, and that's what the death penalty is reserved for - the worst of the worst.''

Clarke says Tsarnaev is ''genuinely sorry for what he's done.''

She says, ''We think that we have shown you that it's not only possible but probable that Dzhokhar has potential for redemption.''

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2:10 p.m.

The Boston Marathon bomber's lawyer says he followed his radicalized older brother around ''like a puppy.''

Judy Clarke says Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) was hugely influenced by his brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in a firefight with police after the 2013 attack.

Clarke says the bombing can't be understood without addressing the central role Tamerlan played in pulling Dzhokhar into the plot.

Dzhokhar's defense is urging a federal jury to consider his difficult childhood and his brother's influence as it decides whether he gets the death penalty or spends the rest of his life in prison.

Throughout the penalty phase of the trial, Clarke has portrayed Dzhokhar as under the spell of a brother bent on jihad, or holy war.

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1:40 p.m.

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehvz) lead defense lawyer is appealing to jurors to keep an open mind as they decide whether he lives or dies.

Judy Clarke began her closing argument by telling jurors they've already convicted Tsarnaev and found that the 2013 attack was a ''senseless and catastrophic act.''

Clarke urged the jury to try to understand how Tsarnaev became involved in the bombing plot. She says she isn't looking for sympathy because there's no excuse for what he did but she wants the jury to consider ''who he is, who he was and who he might become.''

Clarke said Tsarnaev was ''the invisible kid'' in the shadows of his radicalized older brother who masterminded the bombing.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating later Wednesday.

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12:50 p.m.

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.

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12:20 p.m.

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.''

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11:45 a.m.

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.

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11:30 a.m.

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.

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11 a.m.

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.

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10:45 a.m.

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.

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10 a.m.

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.

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9:45 a.m.

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.

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9:20 a.m.

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.

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