After the second phase of the trial of 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev started on April 27th 2015, more than 40 witnesses were brought to the stand by the defense attorneys. It has been reported that as soon as Thursday, the defense could rest the case, leaving the jury to decide the defendant’s fate.
The only purpose of Tsarnaev’s defense attorneys is to champion the right to his life. A life sentence behind bars seems less gruesome than the death penalty that the prosecution team is going after. However, the decision is in the hands of the 12-person jury which has previously found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of all 30 charges brought against him.
A stormy start of the defense brought forth the wife of Dzhokhar’s brother, Mrs. Katherine Russell. In an attempt to prove the harmful influence Tamerlan Tsarnaev could have on those close to him, the defense team showed evidence that even Mrs. Russell was drawn into the Islamist extremism ideology preached by Tamerlan.
The past two weeks have proved emotional in court when, on sight of his family members, Dzhokhar started tearing and blew a kiss their way. The tension is palpable and the young man is one step closer to his fate being decided.
Many of the 40 witnesses brought by the defense attorneys testified to a well-mannered, peaceful nature of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the influence his brother’s radicalized mindset had on him. Elmirza Khozhugov, former husband of Ailina – Dzhokhar’s sister, even added that Tamerlan had been turned to the path of radical Islam under the influence of another man years before the Boston bombing took place.
A psychiatrist was also called to the witness stand, testifying that the Tsarnaev brothers’ father was suffering from post traumatic syndrom disorder, thus adding to humanizing arguments of the defense attorneys.
For Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his only hope is that the pleas of his defense team and witnesses fall on sympathetic ears. Even though he is an accomplice in the Boston Marathon bombing that injured more than 200 people and ended the life of three, the defense attorneys are insisting that his deeds were heavily influenced by his brother’s views.
Image Source: telegraph.co.uk