Latest on Boston bombing trial: Episcopal heads oppose death

AP News
|
Posted: Apr 23, 2015 2:36 PM

2:35 p.m.

Massachusetts' Episcopal Church bishops, like their Roman Catholic counterparts, say they're opposed to the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehvz.)

The bishops issued a statement Thursday saying they're praying for all those affected by the 2013 bombings, including the victims' families and those involved in bringing Tsarnaev to justice.

They reaffirmed their opposition to capital punishment — a position the Episcopal Church has held since 1958.

The bishops' statement calls the bombings "repugnant and morally inexcusable." But it calls the death penalty "an unjustified violation of the prohibition against taking a human life."

Massachusetts' Catholic bishops issued a similar statement this month.

The family of an 8-year-old boy who died in the bombings has also spoken out against capital punishment for Tsarnaev.

___

1:15 p.m.

Federal prosecutors have rested their case in the penalty phase of the federal trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv).

The prosecution rested Thursday afternoon after calling a man who lost a leg in the bombing.

They will get a chance for rebuttal after the defense presents its case. The defense is expected to begin presenting its witnesses Monday.

Tsarnaev was convicted earlier this month of all 30 charges against him. Three people were killed and more than 260 others were wounded when twin bombs exploded at the 2013 marathon.

A jury must decide whether to sentence him to life in prison or to death.

___

12:30 p.m.

A trauma surgeon has testified at the Boston Marathon bomber's trial that an 8-year-old boy gravely injured in the blasts didn't die instantly and suffered visceral pain before he bled to death.

Dr. David King is a military combat surgeon who testified Thursday during the penalty phase of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehvz) trial.

King says Martin Richard's liver, spleen and intestines were twisted and stretched by the blast.

He says Martin was particularly vulnerable to injury from a bomb placed on the ground because his vital organs were closer to the blast than they would have been if he were an adult.

Prosecutors have argued that the boy's vulnerability is one of the aggravating factors that make Tsarnaev's crimes deserving of the death penalty.

Martin's family wasn't in court Thursday.

___

11 a.m.

Prosecutors have asked a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings to identify for jurors the photos of all the victims who had to have at least one leg amputated after the attacks — 17 people in all.

Heather Abbott, of Newport, Rhode Island, took the stand Thursday during the penalty phase of the federal trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv).

She says she was catapulted through the entrance of a restaurant when the second bomb exploded. She says her left foot felt like it was on fire, so she began crawling to follow a crowd trying to get away from the bomb.

Abbott says later, in the hospital, she had to make the difficult decision to have her leg amputated.

She identified for jurors the photos of victims wearing prosthetics and in wheelchairs.

___

10:20 a.m.

A man who lost a leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon attacks has wheeled himself to the witness stand, staring intently at the bomber sitting at the defense table.

Marc Fucarile (FOO'-kuh-rihl) was the first person to testify Thursday for the prosecution in the penalty phase of the federal trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv).

Fucarile says one of the first things he remembers after the second bomb went off is lying on the ground looking up at the sky and a nurse saying, "He's still on fire."

Fucarile's right left was blown off. He says his left leg was severely injured, and it's still unclear whether he will have to have it amputated.

Three people died and more than 260 others were injured in the bombings.