By Elizabeth Barber
The jurors in the Boston Marathon bombing trial will return to the deliberation room for a second day on Wednesday as they work to decide whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is guilty of killing three people and injuring 264 in the 2013 attack.
Tsarnaev, 21, is accused of setting off a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the race’s finish line on April 15, 2013, along with his older brother, Tamerlan. He faces a 30-count federal indictment that also includes charges of fatally shooting a police officer three days later and hurling pipe bombs during a shootout with authorities in a residential neighborhood.
Jurors spent just over seven hours evaluating Tsarnaev’s guilt on the first day of deliberations on Tuesday.
The deliberations mark the first time that jurors are permitted to discuss the trial’s 16 days of testimony. US District Judge George O’Toole had earlier warned them not discuss the trial with anyone while proceedings were ongoing, “including yourself in the mirror.”
Jurors are still barred from talking about the case outside the deliberation room.
If they find Tsarnaev guilty, the same jury will hear a second round of evidence before determining whether to sentence him to death or to life in prison without possibility of parole.
In a sign they were squarely focused on that question, defense lawyers have bluntly admitted that their client committed the crimes of which he stands accused, but contending he did so at the bidding of Tamerlan, 26, who died following the gunfight with police in Watertown, Massachusetts.
Prosecutors laid out evidence that the defendant, an ethnic Chechen who immigrated from Russia a decade before the attack, had read and listened to jihadist materials, and wrote a note in the boat where he was found hiding suggesting the bombing was an act of retribution for US military campaigns in Muslim-dominated countries.