Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev has plead not guilty to all 30 counts brought against him in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings, including use of a weapon of mass destruction to kill. Tsarnaev appeared in court on Wednesday to enter the plea. The plea hearing happened in Boston, miles from the Boston Marathon attack that Tsarnaev is accused of carrying out. Though Jahar spent weeks in the hospital after being apprehended, he appeared in court on his own strength. There are currently no indications for how Tsarnaev and his lawyers will argue in his favor, but given the number of charges and the severity of those charges against him, Tsarnaev may have been advised that a guilty plea would bring a minimum of life in prison.
This means that Tsarnaev will go to trial, in what is sure to be a case that will command the country’s close attention. Prosecutors may decide to seek the death penalty for Jahar, who is widely suspected of carrying out the bombing at the Boston Marathon with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The attack killed three people and wounded around one hundred, some of whom required amputations. It will be difficult to find an impartial jury in the case, because the Boston bombing received national attention both when it happened and for the following days, in which Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with the police, the brothers allegedly killed a campus police officer, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev engaged in a lengthy standoff with police that saw the entire Watertown are of Boston get shut down so that authorities could search for Jahar.