Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Enters 2nd Week

March 9, 2015

More survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing are expected to tell their stories Monday morning in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Those testifying already have included a father whose 8-year-old son died in the attack.

Tsarnaev’s defense team insists he was pressured by his older brother, Tamerlan, into wreaking violence that killed three people and injured more than 260. He was 19 at the time of the 2013 attacks.

“The court has not yet made public the witness list,” reports Phillip Martin of member station WGBH, “but it’s expected that the government will call on additional witnesses to describe the personal toll of the twin explosions on marathon bystanders. Last week we heard from survivors — including the father of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who described in gut-wrenching testimony how he saw his son’s body – bleeding and torn apart — lying on the street.”

So far, Tsarnaev’s attorneys have listened to the personal testimony without cross-examining the witnesses. As NPR’s Tovia Smith reports, “The attorneys say they’re not disputing that Tsarnaev did what he’s accused of — they’re just aiming to get him life in prison instead of the death penalty.”

Others who spoke last week include two men who were part of an enduring image from that day: Jeff Bauman, who was severely injured and sat in a wheelchair as Carlos Arredondo, in a cowboy hat, helped push him to get medical attention.

Bauman, who lost both legs in the attack, testified last week, “I saw a flash, I heard three or four pops, and I was on the ground.”

He recalled thinking, “That was a big firework.”

That’s according to The Boston Globe, which says that after prosecutors have finished calling forward survivors to tell their personal stories, they’ll begin a more technical phase of the trial, calling on investigators and forensics experts.

Member station WBUR is following the trial with its Finish Line series, which includes podcast recaps of each day’s proceedings.

WBUR has also published an essay by Erin Dionne, who describes the complex and time-consuming process of being a potential juror in the trial.

Even though she wasn’t selected for the final panel, Dionne writes, “For the past three months, my life has revolved around Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.”

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