Nearly two years after two homemade explosive devices went off at the Boston Marathon finish line, the trial for accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is set to begin, now that a jury finally has been selected, The Boston Globe reports. But what remains to be seen is who will testify in the Boston bombing case. Will it be the dozens who lost limbs and were otherwise injured in the 2013 blasts? Will it be the families of the three people killed in the blast and the officer allegedly shot and killed by Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan? Will we finally hear first-hand from the Tsarnaevs' relatives, who claim the brothers were framed in the attack?
It's not out of the question that Tsarnaev might testify on his own behalf, so we might finally hear from the man who faces a possible death sentence for the attacks, yet remains a question mark even to those who have followed the case closely. Tsarnaev faces 30 charges in connection with the bombing, including 17 federal charges that could bring him the death penalty, according to The Globe. His defense team has indicated it intends to show that he was under Tamerlan's influence, and that it was the older brother who orchestrated the crimes. Tamerlan died in the manhunt after the bombings, first shot by police, then run over by his fleeing brother.
Many of the people affected by the bombing told The Globe last month that they had mixed feelings about the start of the trial. Some victims want to testify against Tsarnaev, they said, but others don't even want to say his name. It's no surprise that these victims, many of whom still suffer pain and other complications from the injuries they received during the bombing, are reluctant to reopen wounds that have yet to fully heal.
The list of potential witnesses is long, since there were hundreds of people at the Boston Marathon, and 260 were injured. But The Globe reported that some victims say they would prefer that the families of Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, Krystle Campbell, the three who died in the explosion; and the family of Sean Collier, the officer killed in the subsequent manhunt, be given priority to testify.
The Tsarnaev defense team did not want name the witnesses it planned to call prior to the start of the trial, The Globe reported in October, because the attorneys were concerned that investigators might seek them out. The witnesses might then change their minds about testifying, the defense attorneys argued.
But with so many people affected by the bombings and the aftermath, there are many who could take the stand to testify in Boston and that testimony will be, at times, hard to hear.
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