The Boston Bomber Flipped Off A Camera — Should We Execute Him?

Photo: Rex Shutterstock.
Is flipping off a camera in your jail cell an ordinary, juvenile act of defiance? Or, proof that you're a cold-blooded killer? The answer to that question could decide whether or not Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gets executed for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings. 

A newly released photo shows Tsarnaev in a holding cell, raising a middle finger to a security camera in the corner of the ceiling. The video is from July 10, 2013, when he was waiting to be arraigned on charges that he plotted and carried out a terror attack that April. Lawyers for the prosecution said that the video is proof that Tsarnaev was "unrepentant" about the murders he and his brother Tamerlan committed.

"This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, unconcerned, unrepentant, and unchanged," U.S. Attorney Nadine Pellegrini told the jury. "Without remorse, he remains untouched by the grief and the loss that he caused."
Photo: Rex Shutterstock.
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According to BuzzFeed, the defense argued that the video showed a bored and traumatized teenager rather than any malice. 

Tsarnaev was convicted earlier this month on 30 counts related to the bombing, which killed three people and injured hundreds. Now, the jury must decide whether to sentence him to death or life in prison without parole. Relatives of the victims have disagreed over what the now 21-year-old's fate should be. The parents of Martin Richard, eight years old when he was killed in the tragedy, have publicly pled with prosecutors to forgo the death penalty and avoid years of appeals.

Tsarnaev's lawyers have not denied that he was involved in the attack and the killing of an MIT police officer, but they have tried to paint a portrait of a troubled teen under the influence of a militant older sibling rather than a criminal mastermind. Whether the jury will be swayed by that remains to be seen.

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