Trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect opens | News | DW | 04.03.2015
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Trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect opens

Boston will relive some of its worst memories as federal prosecutors start their case against accused marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He has pleaded not guilty to 30 charges in connection with the attacks.

Victims of the Boston Marathon bombing arrived at court to hear opening statements in the trial of the suspect on Wednesday.

Two busloads of people hurt in the bombing arrived and entered through a side entrance, away from reporters gathered at the main entrance of the courthouse.

Kyrgyzstan-born US citizen Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, is charged with killing three people and injuring 264 with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs that ripped through the crowd at the race's finish line on April 15, 2013.

Tsarnaev faces the death penalty if convicted of charges that also include fatally shooting a police officer, but he denies more than 30 counts of using a weapon of mass destruction.

Two explosions went off at the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, 2013 killing three people and injuring 264

Two explosions went off at the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, 2013 killing three people and injuring 264

Prosecutors told US District Judge George O'Toole that they may want to show as evidence autopsy photos of the attack victims on Wednesday, including an eight-year-old boy.

They also want to play clips from an FBI news conference where officials released photos of Tsarnaev and his older brother identifying them as suspects and setting off a course of events that led to a day-long lockdown of most of the Boston area amid a massive manhunt.

Meanwhile, defense attorneys aim to portray Tsarnaev as having been under the influence of his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, who they contend was the mastermind behind the attack.

A jury of 10 women and eight men were chosen on Tuesday to hear the case. The trial will be split into two phases - one phase to decide guilt and the other to decide punishment. If Tsarnaev is convicted, the jury will decide whether he will be sentenced to life in prison or face the death penalty.

The trial is expected to last three to four months.

It is expected to be one of the most watched American trials since Timothy McVeigh was convicted and later executed for the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people in 1995.

jil/lw (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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