As prospective jurors got their first look at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man accused of bombing the Boston Marathon, it became clear that choosing a jury will not be a simple process, the Associated Press reports. U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. told the first 400 people called for jury duty that choosing a panel of 12 jurors and six alternates was expected to take at least three weeks. Tsarnaev is accused of planning and carrying out the twin bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others on April 15, 2013.
Jurors must be willing to consider imposing the death penalty in a state that abolished its own death penalty three decades ago. Potential jurors seemed transfixed by the sight of the shaggy-haired 21-year-old, staring at him intently. Testimony is expected to begin Jan. 26 and last three to four months. Prosecutors say Dzhokhar and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev — ethnic Chechens who had lived in the U.S. for a decade — carried out the bombings in retaliation for U.S. wars in Muslim countries. Tamerlan, 26, died in a gun battle with police. The defense is expected to argue that Dzhokhar had a difficult childhood and fell under the evil influence of his older brother.