In the first picture of the Boston Bomber released since the bombings and their aftermath two years ago, Tsarnaev is flipping off the camera in his holding cell, in a photo that was shown to the jury Tuesday and made public on Wednesday. The 21-year-old has already been found guilty of all 30 counts against him, but the jury is in the process of deciding whether he will be sentenced with life in prison with no parole or the death penalty.
The photo, which is dated July 10, 2013 and was presented by the prosecution in court on the first day of the sentencing phase, clearly indicates that he was not exactly contrite about his actions in the months after the bombing. In the photo, Tsarnaev is shown flipping off the security camera in his holding cell as he awaited his arraignment for the April 2013 bombings he planned with his brother, who died in a shootout with police following the attack. Whether or not Tsarnaev is repentant now, the photo will certainly not help his case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadine Pellegrini said of the photo to the jury:
This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, unconcerned, unrepentant, and unchanged. Without remorse, he remains untouched by the grief and the loss that he caused. ... He was determined and destined to be America’s worst nightmare.
The photo's release comes amid harrowing and highly emotional testimonies from survivors and relatives and friends of the victims, presenting a stark contrast between their pain and his flippancy.
The first survivor to testify was Celeste Corcoran, who lost both of her legs in the bombings. She recounted the painful moment when she learned that both of her legs had to be amputated and having to sign a form to approve the operation. Another survivor, Gillian Reny, recalls seeing a broken bone sticking out of her leg after the explosion.
In addition to survivors, relatives of victims Krystle Campbell and Sean Collier also testified, remembering their deceased loved ones through tears.
Against this heart-wrenching backdrop, Pellegrini told the jury:
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev murdered each one of them in a way that they had time to feel pain, they had time to be scared and frightened, but they had no time to say good-bye. And that is the very essence of terror.
The sentencing phase of the trial is expected to last three to four weeks, at the end of which the jury must reach a unanimous decision in order for Tsarnaev to get the death penalty. Otherwise, he will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.Images: Getty Images