Tsarnaev juror says knowing of survivors’ opposition may have changed his vote for death
A juror in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev says he probably would not have voted for the death penalty had he known that the families of some victims preferred a life sentence.
Kevin Fagan spoke to WBUR-FM on Monday, the same day a federal judge rejected a motion by the Boston Globe to publicly release the names of all jurors. Fagan is believed to be the first juror to speak publicly using his name.
He did not discuss deliberations but said he probably would have changed his vote in the penalty phase had he been aware of the opposition to the death penalty by the parents of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed by one of two bombs detonated by Tsarnaev and his brother. The bombs killed three people and injured more than 260.
“If I had known that, I probably — I probably would change my vote. But then again, if I knew that, I wouldn’t be on the jury either,” he said. The jurors were ordered by the judge to avoid media coverage of the trial.
Fagan is co-authoring an online book about his experience. “Juror 83 — The Tsarnaev Trial: 34 Days That Changed Me” is expected to be released at the end of September.
Fagan, 23, said he could relate to Tsarnaev because they are so close in age. Tsarnaev is now 22; he was 19 at the time of the bombings.
Fagan said he believed the defense’s claim that Tsarnaev was influenced by his older brother, Tamerlan, 26, who was killed during an attempted getaway several days after the bombings. But Fagan still came to the conclusion that Tsarnaev should receive the death penalty.
“He still chose to leave that bomb there for about 4½ minutes,” Fagan said. “So it’s hard to get away from that and the damage and strife that it caused.”
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