Boston Bombing Defendant Can See Victims’ Autopsy Photos, Judge Says

April 16, 2014

A federal judge said Wednesday that Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may see autopsy photos of the three people who died after the explosions near the finish line of last year’s race.

District Court Judge George O’Toole “rejected a claim by the government that Tsarnaev should not see the photos because it would disturb the families of the victims,” NBC News writes. The news network adds that:

“Under court rules, lawyers for Tsarnaev are allowed to see the photos as they prepare a defense. The government sought a special restriction — that Tsarnaev himself not be allowed to see them unless the government offered them as evidence at trial.

“The government argued in court papers that allowing Tsarnaev to see all the photos would subject marathon victims to ‘needless harm and suffering.’

“The defense lawyers said they had never heard of such a restriction, and that decisions about what Tsarnaev can and can’t see are best left to his lawyers.”

O’Toole denied the defense lawyers’ request, however, that some of the charges against Tsarnaev be dismissed. New England’s writes that the attorneys had argued that “many of the charges in the 30-count indictment Tsarnaev is facing are redundant.”

It was one year ago April 15 that the two bombs went off. During the four-day hunt for the bombers, an MIT campus police officer was killed.

Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, died after a gun battle with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown, Mass.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 20, was captured in Watertown last April 19. His trial is expected to begin in November.

This year’s Boston Marathon will be run next Monday. In recent days, the related NPR reports have included:

After Losing A Leg, Woman Walks On Her Own — In 4-Inch Heels

Boston Stronger: City Marks One Year Since Marathon Bombings

Runner Returns To Boston With A New Outlook On Life

Also of note: Running Toward Boston, an NPR Tumblr blog from eight people who are training for the race.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

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