Relatives of the victims of the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings have arrived in court for the start of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial.
An all-white jury of 12 will spend the first day of the case listening to opening statements. But the verdict could take three to four months to reach.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers have long argued that the trial should be moved out of Boston, claiming that the local community is too affected by the bombings to produce an impartial jury.
However, it has been decided the case will be heard within the city, at the Moakley Courthouse.
The feeling on the streets of Boston appears to echo the concerns of Tsarnaev’s legal team. On the day before the trial was due to start, Boston resident Theresa Moulton said:
“I think it was awful, what happened,” she said. “And I think he should be found guilty. I think he should spend life in prison contemplating what he did, if he even has a conscience. I believe in the justice system and I think that justice will be served.”
Passer-by Gerard Riveron, seemed to agree:
“I just feel for people who are hurting today: the families who have lost their children; and the people who are in wheelchairs. That’s my concern. Yes, he’s guilty, sure.”
To, perhaps, take into account the objections of the defence team, the jury selection process has been long.
The 21-year-old faces 30 charges, including four counts of murder and one charge of using a weapon of mass destruction, resulting in death. Three people were killed and over 260 injured when a pair of homemade bombs were detonated within 200 metres of each other, near the race’s finish line.
The fourth murder charge relates to the fatal shooting of a police officer three days after the bombings.
If Tsarnaev is found guilty, the jury will decide whether he will be sentenced to death.
The defence team is expected to argue that he was heavily influenced by his brother Tamerlan, who was killed in a police shootout following the Boston bombings.