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Tsarnaev’s Penalty Phase Begins with Emotional Testimonies

The penalty phase of U.S. v. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev began Tuesday with emotional testimonies from victims and their family members.

Now that Tsarnaev has been convicted of all 30 charges, the second phase of the trial allows the jury to decide if he should be executed or serve life in prison.

William Campbell Jr. and William Campbell III, the father and brother of Krystle Campbell, spoke of their loved one’s strong work ethic. Campbell, one of the spectators killed by the explosions, was a restaurant manager who paid for college on her own.

Campbell balanced work with caring for family, calling her brother often and visiting her parents daily. Her father said he missed her daily hugs the most, calling Campbell, “the light of my life – smart, hardworking, beautiful – every father’s dream.”

Campbell’s brother mentioned her bond with his six-year-old son and their extended family. “She was just the centerpiece,” her brother said, “she stayed close to everybody.”

The Campbell family initially thought Krystle Campbell had survived due to misidentification. Campbell’s parents were told she would need her leg removed, but upon entering the emergency room, Campbell’s father realized the injured woman was not his daughter.

Nicole Gross, one of the injured spectators who testified, was at the marathon finish line with her husband and sister on the day of the bombing. Gross received many injuries, including having her right quad blown open, and has since had over nine surgeries. Her sister lost a leg.

Gross was saved by first responders, but recalled her ride alone in an ambulance, saying, “I kept feeling helpless and alone.”

According to a CNN article, the prosecution presented a photograph of Tsarnaev in a cell. In the photo taken about three months after the bombings, Tsarnaev is seen holding up his middle finger.

Federal Prosecutor Nadine Pellegrini referred to Tsarnaev as “unrepentant, uncaring and untouched by the havoc and sorrow that he has created,” also saying that he was, “determined and destined to be America’s worst nightmare.”

Stay tuned to the Suffolk Voice for more updates on the penalty phase of the Boston bombing trial.

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