An attorney for accused Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said in her opening statement “it was him,” but said his brother heavily influenced his role in the bombings.
7News legal analyst Tom Hoopes offered perspective on what to expect from the trial in the days ahead and what strategies the prosecution and defense will use.
“Well I think that the prosecution is going to focus very much on just how incredibly — aggravating, is the word, because they’re going to tie this to the penalty phase —how serious the conduct of this particular comfort is. Not just the brother but this particular defendant, but what happened with the result of his conduct, the sort of incredible pain he inflicted and death on people, but mostly on his role. The defense is going to try to focus the flip of that, focus on what the brother did, how little this one did, try to get every point across, all looking toward the later penalty phase,” said Hoopes.
The first witness was Thomas Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, who also works as the finish line announcer at the Marathon.
Witness testimony could last until June.
“There is so much detail with regard to the guilt phase and so many facts the prosecutors want to put in to show how horrific, in most people’s view, this thing is. Then we will get to the penalty phase from a defense point of view. This is not going to be traditional defense lawyer cross-examination. What they are going to do, though, is meticulously try to elicit facts that portray the older brother’s role, that diminish this person’s role. How much time is that going to take? I don’t know, we will see how that plays out. What you saw today is going to be the strategy at every step of the trial,” said Hoopes.