Deliberations in the Boston Marathon bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are set to begin on 7 April. Closing arguments by prosecutors and Tsarnaev's lawyers were heard on 6 April, with the prosecution insisting he is just as responsible for the attacks as his now-dead radicalised older brother, Tamerlan.
The proceedings on 6 April began around 10.30am local (3.30pm BST) with Judge George O'Toole instructing the jury on how to deliberate following closing arguments.
Tsarnaev, who faces 30 charges, is accused of killing three people, including an eight-year-old boy, and injuring over 260 using two pressure-cooker bombs, along with his brother, during the 2013 Boston Marathon. Despite his lawyers admitting he committed the attacks, Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all accounts.
The two later allegedly killed MIT police officer Sean Collier as they attempted to evade police. Tamerlan, 26, died four days after the attacks when he was shot by police and run over by his brother as he attempted to get away.
Seventeen of the charges faced by Tsarnaev carry the death penalty. If the 21-year-old is found guilty of just one of them, the case will move on to the penalty phase, NECN reported.
During closing arguments, assistant US attorney Aloke Chakravarty reminded jurors of the brutality of the attacks and subsequent manhunt using images and videos. "That day, they felt they were soldiers. They were the mujahideen, and they were bringing their battle to Boston," Chakravarty told the jury.
But Tsarnaev's lawyer, Judy Clarke, placed the blame squarely on his brother, calling him the mastermind of the attacks. "If not for Tamerlan, it would not have happened," she argued.
The younger Tsarnaev brother is expected to be found guilty by the jury, NECN reported. The trial would then continue to the second phase: determining whether he should serve life in prison or receive the death penalty.