Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers rested their case after death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean testified that Tsarnaev expressed genuine sorrow about Boston Marathon bombing victims, the Associated Press reports. “No one deserves to suffer like they did,” Prejean quoted him as saying. The two sides will return on Wednesday to give closing arguments, after which the jury will decide whether the 21-year-old Tsarnaev should get a death sentence or life in prison. Prejean, a Catholic nun whose story was told in the 1995 movie “Dead Man Walking,” met with Tsarnaev five times at the defense’s request. Prosecutors had fought to keep Prejean from testifying. During cross-examination, Prejean acknowledged that she believes no one deserves to be executed, no matter what the crime. The defense team called 40 witnesses during the penalty phase in hope of convincing the jury that Tsarnaev was a “good kid” who fell under the influence of his radical older brother, Tamerlan.
Tamerlan, 26, died in a getaway attempt days after the bombing. Tsarnaev was convicted of all 30 charges against him, including 17 that carry the possibility of the death penalty. During their case, prosecutors called bombing victims who gave heartbreaking testimony about watching loved ones die or having their legs blown off. Prosecutors called John Oliver, warden of the prison complex in Florence, Co., who said inmates in the special security unit of the Supermax prison can earn a college degree, write a book, and send and receive an unlimited number of letters. Oliver said inmates have 30 minutes of phone calls per month and 10 hours of recreation per week. The testimony was aimed at arguments by Tsarnaev’s lawyers that life behind bars would be harsh if he were spared execution.