Jury Hears Closing Statements in Tsarnaev Trial
In the closing statements for the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his lawyers once again reiterated a statement they made in the openings — Their client did it.
Tsarnaev is currently on trial, facing 30 charges for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. Of those 30 charges, 17 carry the death penalty or life in prison.
During a month of testimonies that linked Tsarnaev to the crime scenes on Boylston Street, Watertown, and to the MIT campus, Judy Clarke and his defense team rarely disputed the crimes that took place, as charged by the prosecution.
Rather, they have sought to dissuade why their client did it. They portrayed their client as a kid who was radicalized by his brother, and while failing in school, turned to terrorism to find a purpose.
“There is no excuse, no one is trying to make one,” said Clarke on Monday.
“We don’t deny that Jahar fully participated in the events. But if it were not were Tamerlan; it would not have happened.”
In closing, Clarke said that Tsarnaev was willing to accept the verdict and take responsibility for his actions.
Meanwhile, the government was quick to draw on emotion in closing statements, calling the defendant “callous,” a “martyr,” who targeted civilians.
William Weinreb was ruthless in the government’s rebuttal after Clarke spoke.
As Tsarnaev was hiding in a boat after the shootout in Watertown, he scrawled a message in pencil on the side of the boat.
“The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians but most of you already know that. As a M[hole] I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished, we Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all, well at least that’s how Muhammad (unintelligible) wanted it to be.”
Weinreb said that in what Tsarnaev thought to be his waning moments, the words written on the boat were his deepest and truest words.
“Now that he’s survived and he’s on trial for his life, he has every reason to back away from the truth,” Weinreb charged.
The prosecution opened up their close with graphic images of the bomb sites on Boylston Street. “His bomb, we have the devastation on video,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney, Aloke Chakravarty.
Chakravarty was silent as he let a street level video in front of Marathon Sports play. Screams were audible, with limbs and pools of blood on the screen.
On the rebuttal, Weinreb refuted Clarke’s claim that Tamerlan Tsarnaev radicalized his brother.
“If you are capable of such murder, such hate,” he said. “Can you really blame your brother for giving him some propaganda to read?”
The case now moves to the deliberation stage, where jurors will decide if Tsarnaev was proven to have committed the acts listed on the indictment.
Stay tuned to The Suffolk Voice for continued updates.