BOSTON (CBS) – Just hours after they rested their case on Monday, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team kept arguing.
In a new filing, they claimed that since prosecutors did not call any witnesses to talk about the death of Martin Richard during the second -or penalty- phase of the Boston Marathon bombing trial, the jury should not consider the impact the 8-year-old’s murder had on his family.
On Tuesday, prosecutors responded that the evidence jurors heard and saw during the first phase of the trial, including testimony from Richard’s father, Bill, was more than enough.
Jurors will likely begin their deliberations later this week never having heard about that argument, unless the judge instructs them otherwise.
Instead, they will likely be more focused on testimony they heard about the ADX, the super-maximum security federal prison in Florence, Colorado.
Tsarnaev’s defense team wants jurors to feel like a life sentence here would be close to hell on earth. Prosecutors counter that Tsarnaev’s conditions might initially be restrictive, but that he would eventually gain more and more freedoms, potentially even earning a college degree or starting a romantic long-distance relationship.
It’s a scenario WBZ’s security analyst Ed Davis says could play out.
“It’s going to be a very difficult time for anybody who goes in with this type of notoriety for the first few years,” Davis said, “but again, as time goes on, people forget and things loosen up. No matter what it is, as time goes on, people forget and it becomes less serious. I think that’s the exact same dynamic that’s going to play out in this case.”
But Davis doesn’t think prison conditions will be what sways the jury. That will be done, he thinks, by the evidence they’ve seen.
“I still think that the underlying facts are devastating,” he said.
Jurors heard testimony about what a polite, happy, and kind little boy Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was. But Davis says, based on what he knows about radicalization, children who are like that can grow into adults who are not.
“There’s no question,” he told WBZ. “I think that most people that are engaged in really violent criminal acts have another side to them.”