The defense and prosecution rested today and it looks like the jury is going to have to decide what sentence to impose without hearing directly from the defendant, Jahar Tsarnaev. Instead, they heard from him indirectly through the testimony of Sister Helen Prejean who met with him in March at the request of the defense team. Sister Helen is a Catholic nun best known for her opposition to the death penalty and her book, Dead Man Walking.
I walked in the room and looked at his face and I remembered thinking, Oh God, he’s so young . . . He said it emphatically. He said [refering to the Boston Marathon bombing victims], ‘No one deserved to suffer like they did.’ He kind of lowered his eyes. It was his voice. It had pain in it.
I’ve said many times that, if Jahar Tsarnaev wants to avoid the death penalty, he will have to own what he did, accept responsibility, express remorse and ask for mercy. He confessed his sin through Sister Helen.
Rather interesting to have a Muslim boy confessing his sin to a Catholic nun.
Whether her testimony on his behalf will carry the day remains to be seen.
I certainly hope it does.
All of this happened today without hearing the word allocution.
Closing arguments will begin Wednesday morning.