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Finish Line

Author: WBUR

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Journalists discuss the daily twists and turns of the trial from their base at the federal courthouse, and provide their sharp insights and analysis.
10 Episodes
More than a month after the jury returned a verdict of death for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, all the raw wounds were ripped open again, with victim impact statements. And we were once again reminded of the pain and suffering caused by Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan. Today, Judge George O’Toole officially carried out the jury’s verdict, a verdict he couldn’t change, and sentenced Tsarnaev to death by execution. But before the judge did that, we heard from Dzhokhar himself, who asked Allah for forgiveness. …
Two years and a month after bombs exploded on the Boston Marathon finish line, becoming the biggest terrorist attack in America since 9/ll, a federal jury delivered a verdict of death to the convicted bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. After more than 4 months of trial, 154 witnesses, and no more than 15 hours of deliberations, jurors chose not life in prison without the possibility of parole, but six sentences of death. In the final episode until official sentencing, Boeri and Cullen look back over the entire trial, and look ahead to what's next …
The death penalty. That's what 12 jurors quickly and unanimously decided is the just punishment for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings. The verdict appears a rejection of the defense's case that Tsarnaev was brainwashed by his radicalized older brother Tamerlan, or the assertion he is remorseful for what he did. Boeri and Cullen discuss the tense day in court.
The fate of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev--his life or death--is now in the hands of 12 jurors. In Day 31, the jury began deliberating, after hearing closing statements. Boeri and Cullen cover the defense's closing, which continued to hammer home that Dzhokhar's older brother Tamerlan was the lead on the attacks, and that a life sentence for Tsarnaev would serve as both "justice and mercy." And they discuss the government's closing, which said Tsarnaev's actions--the killing of four and the maiming of dozens more--have earned him death.
For the first time in this federal death penalty case the jury got some insight into what Dzhokhar Tsarnaev thought of his Boston Marathon bombing victims. "No one deserves to suffer like they did," Tsarnaev said to Sister Helen Prejean, a prominent opponent of the death penalty, according to her testimony. Prejean revealed that she has met with the defendant five times while he has been in detention. In Day 30, Boeri and Cullen discuss Sister Prejean's testimony, the end of the defense's case in the penalty phase, and the …
It was an early day for jurors in the federal death penalty case of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. In Day 29, Boeri and Cullen cover the testimony of a former prison warden and the reason why court ended early--the possible testimony of Sister Helen Prejean, a prominent opponent of capital punishment.
The defense for convicted Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has started to wrap up its case, tying up lose ends in the sentencing phase of the federal death penalty trial against him. Today, in Day 28, Boeri and Cullen discuss the testimony from a relative in Kazakhstan, adolescent brain development, and the supermax prison where--if spared the death penalty--Tsarnaev could spend the rest of his life.
The defense for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been presenting the jury with a social history of his family. Today, in Day 27, the defense turned the focus to their ethnic homeland of Chechnya. Boeri and Cullen discuss how the long history of the Chechen people influenced the psychiatric well-being of Dzhokhar's father, and how his older brother Tamerlan became unhinged and abusive.
All throughout the federal death penalty trial of convicted Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a key question has been: Will the defense succeed in making him into a sympathetic figure, and in doing so perhaps save his life? After months of sobering testimony, and virtually no sign of emotion or remorse from the defendant, that seemed like an impossible challenge. Boeri and Cullen discuss Day 26, in which that changed and Dzhokhar was moved to tears for the first time, just by seeing and hearing the testimony of some of …
In the days after the FBI identified Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan as suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, there was a near universal reaction from anyone who had known Dzhokhar -- shock and disbelief -- saying it couldn't be. In Day 25 of the trial against Tsarnaev, Boeri and Cullen discuss an emotional day as the jury finally heard stories from former friends and teachers, painting a picture of a good kid -- lost -- and under the spell of his radicalized older brother.
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