by RUBY AUJLA
On April 15, 2013, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring nearly two hundred and sixty-four people. The bombs exploded twelve seconds apart and were hidden inside pressure cookers, which were hidden inside of backpacks. On April 18, 2013, an MIT police officer was shot in the MIT campus by the alleged bombers. On April 19, 2013, the bombing suspects were identified by the FBI as two brothers: Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother of Dzhokhar, was killed in an incident with police prior to his brother’s capture on April 19. Dzhokhar was found later that day hiding in a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts; he was taken to the hospital in serious condition after police fired at him. He is now facing the death penalty in a federal-level case.
Though the attack was nearly two years ago, opening statements began on March 4, 2015. Dzhokhar has pleaded not guilty to over thirty federal charges. His defense is likely to argue that he was an innocent participant in his older brother’s sinister plan, while prosecutors argue he was an active participant in the bombing.
The case has focused heavily on information on the shooting of Sean Collier, MIT police officer, and new footage from the Tsarnaevs’ car-jacking at a Shell gas station in Cambridge. The car-jacking victim, Dun Meng, was able to escape his capture on April 18, 2013, and has presented his side of the story during the trial.
If Tsarnaev is found guilty of the federal charges, another trial will be held to determine whether or not he will receive the death penalty. The possible trial will be small, but its outcome will affect surviving Boston marathon victims and victims’ families.