Defense Lawyers Define Doomed Narrative for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Day after day, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev strides into the courtroom eager, it seems, to be anywhere but the tiny jail cell where he has spent most of the last two years.
He chats with his lawyers who treat him kindly as they try to convince a jury that "life in prison" is the better choice.
For the most part, Tsarnaev has seemed disengaged, showing little emotion, fidgeting in his seat as if he is bored or perhaps impatient.
Prosecutors had little difficulty convincing the jury of Tsarnaev's guilt. Yet, in the penalty phase, it is Tsarnaev's lawyers who have tried to focus the jury less on what he did and more on who he was.
Their narrative portrays Dzhokhar as a decent young man trapped within an itinerant family life he could not escape.
The frustrations of his older brother Tamerlan and the religious inclinations of their mother are what cast this young man into the perdition he faces today.



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