Defense Admits Tsarnaev Is Guilty in First Day of Marathon Bombing Trial

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In this image released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on April 19, 2013, Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19-years-old, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing is seen.  (Photo provided by FBI via Getty Images)
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.Photo: Handout/FBI2013 FBI

The Boston Marathon bombing trial began on Wednesday with an unusual admission from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team. “It WAS him,” said attorney Judy Clarke. The statement does not affect Tsarnaev’s not guilty plea, but the defense hopes to spare the 21-year-old from a death sentence by focusing on his brother’s hold over him, not whether or not he carried out the crime. “The evidence will not establish and we will not argue that Tamerlan put a gun to Dzhokhar’s head or that he forced him to join in the plan,” Clarke said, “but you will hear evidence about the kind of influence that this older brother had.” Tsarnaev had little reaction as three victims of the bombing offered graphic and disturbing testimony, and the defense did not ask them any questions.