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Jury selection got under way in Boston today in the trial of the man accused of bombing the 2013 Boston Marathon.
The surviving suspect, 21 year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was on hand, but didn't speak, as lawyers from both sides began screening 1,200 juror candidates. The number will eventually be whittled down to 12 jurors and six alternates. But that could take weeks, due to extensive media coverage of the attack and the sheer number of people affected.
It's been almost two years since the bombings killed three people and wounded more than 260 others near the marathon's finish line. Soon after, the FBI released this surveillance video showing Dzhokhar and his older brother, Tamerlan, at the scene. That triggered a manhunt and forced the city of Boston and its surrounding areas into lockdown.
The accused allegedly killed a police officer along the way. It wasn't until four days after the blasts that law enforcement closed in on the brothers in the suburb of Watertown. Tamerlan ultimately died after an intense shoot-out with police. But Dzhokhar fled and was later arrested, hiding out in this boat in a Watertown backyard.
Dzhokhar has already pleaded not guilty to all 30 charges, and could face the death penalty if convicted. Many in the community are eager for the trial to finally begin January 26.
Get this over with, get it in the past, and start — start over, you know?
It's going to be painful, of course, to relive something so traumatic, but I think, who could handle it better than the citizens of Boston?
Some bombing survivors, like Heather Abbott, who lost her left leg below the knee, plan to attend the proceedings, but are understandably anxious.
HEATHER ABBOTT, Bombing Survivor:
I expect it to be emotional. I'm sure that it's not going to be an easy time. But, for me, it's something that I want to at least experience attending for — I think just for some sort of peace of mind, to see the person who changed my life forever.
The judge said he expects the trial could last as long as four months.
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