BOSTON — The jury has reached a verdict in the Boston Marathon bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after two days of deliberations, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Wednesday.
The statement, posted on Twitter by the federal prosecutor’s office, did not indicate when the jury would announce the results.
“Seventeen of the counts carry the death penalty. Fifteen of the counts contain a series of subclause questions that jurors must take up one by one and try to answer unanimously.”
Federal Judge George O’Toole met earlier with attorneys for both sides for about 30 minutes to address the questions raised by the seven-woman, five-man jury, which deliberated for more than seven hours Tuesday before ending the day without a verdict.
“The jury’s last question sought clarification on the difference between aiding and abetting. Twenty-five of the 30 counts charge Tsarnaev with aiding and abetting, sometimes in conjunction with a broader charge.”
The charges against Tsarnaev — totaling 30 counts — fall into four main categories. Twelve pertain to two pressure-cooker bombs used at the marathon on April 15, 2013, when three people died and more than 260 were injured. Three other charges deal with conspiracy; another three cover the fatal shooting on April 18, 2013, of MIT security officer Sean Collier.
The final 12 address what happened after Collier’s murder, including a carjacking, robbery and use of improvised explosives against Watertown, Mass., police officers.
Seventeen of the counts carry the death penalty. Fifteen of the counts contain a series of subclause questions that jurors must take up one by one and try to answer unanimously.
“Can a conspiracy pertain to a sequence of events over multiple days or a distinct event?”
If Tsarnaev is found guilty, the second phase of the trial will consider whether he should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.
O’Toole began Wednesday’s proceedings by reading the jurors’ questions, one of which had two parts, and delivering his answers.
“Can a conspiracy pertain to a sequence of events over multiple days or a distinct event?” was the first question.
“Duration is a question of fact for you to determine,” O’Toole told the jury. It could be limited to one event or apply to more than one. Tsarnaev is charged with conspiracy in three counts, all of which name four victims who were killed during the week of April 15, 2013.
Jurors also asked whether they need to consider all the subclauses in each count, or if reaching unanimity on the overall question of guilt for that count is sufficient.
O’Toole said they must consider every subclause only if they determine Tsarnaev is guilty on that charge.
For example, if they find him guilty of using a pressure-cooker bomb outside the Forum restaurant near the marathon finish line, they must proceed to answer five more questions, including whether he caused — or aided and abetted in causing — the deaths of Lingzi Lu and Martin Richard.
If they find him not guilty on a particular count, then they can move on. In the jury verdict form, 15 of the 30 counts contain a series of subclause questions. The fact that they’re asking about protocol for subclauses suggests they’ve reached a decision on one or more of the counts.
The jury’s last question sought clarification on the difference between aiding and abetting. Twenty-five of the 30 counts charge Tsarnaev with aiding and abetting, sometimes in conjunction with a broader charge.
“Aiding and abetting is a single concept,” O’Toole told the jury….(read more)
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Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.