The defense team for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left an entire courtroom stunned today with three words: "It was him."
Judy Clarke, defense attorney for Tsarnaev, made the striking admission in court on Wednesday.
“We’re all going to come face to face with unbearable grief, loss and pain caused by a series of senseless, horribly misguided acts carried out by two brothers, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar,” Clarke said. “We do not and will not at any point in this case sidestep or attempt to sidestep Dzhokhar’s responsibility for his actions. We think the question of ‘why’ is important.”
During the prosecution’s opening statements, prosecutor Bill Weinreb told a jury that goal of the Tsarnaev brothers’ attack was to kill as many people as possible.
The defense, however, argued that the reason why Dzhokhar and his brother carried out the attacks was not the same as what the prosecution presented. The defense claimed in court that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in gunfight with police following the attack, was an “all-powerful force that could not be ignored or disobeyed” and that he “enlisted” his younger brother to fight for a cause he so strongly believed in.
U.S. District Judge George O’Toole struck a huge blow to the defense’s argument, however, by telling the court that the idea of one of the brothers being more responsible than the other is irrelevant.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 charges, including the use of a “weapon of mass destruction resulting in death.”