[JURIST] Chechen immigrant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev [case materials] was convicted Wednesday on 30 federal charges [verdict slip, PDF] relating to the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings [CNN backgrounder]. The attack, supposedly meant to punish America for perceived harm against Muslims, was perpetrated by Tsarnaev [BBC profile] and his brother, Tamerlan, who together placed two pressure-cooker explosive in the crowd near the finish line. Those explosives killed 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, 23-year-old Lingzi Lu and 8-year-old Martin Richard, and injured 260 others. Sean Collier, an MIT security guard, was killed during the brothers’ flight from authorities. Tsarnaev was convicted on 12 counts pertaining to the pressure-cooker bombs, three counts of conspiracy, three relating to the Collier shooting, and 12 relating to his flight after Collier’s death, including the use of improvised explosives against Massachusetts police. Tsarnaev’s defense team, who readily admitted his culpability for the crimes, sought to paint the 21-year-old former college student as a pawn controlled by his brother, in an effort to avoid the death penalty. Tamerlan, Tsarnaev’s elder by about seven years, was killed during a shootout with police shortly after the bombings. The jury is expected to decide sentencing early next week.
The Boston Marathon bombing trial began in early March after a number of delays. Earlier that month the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit rejected [JURIST report] a motion by Tsarnaev to move the trial out of Boston. In January a judge for the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts rejected [JURIST report] a plea by lawyers for Tsarnaev to pause jury selection for his trial due to the attacks in Paris. The judge, in a short ruling, noted that he had given potential jurors a questionnaire to asses whether an impartial jury could be chosen in this case. Earlier in January the jury selection began [JURIST report] with more than 1,200 potential jurors being called to the federal courthouse for consideration.