The U.S. Department of Justice released Wednesday the first photo of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev since his arrest in April 2013. The picture, a still from a video of Tsarnaev in a holding cell in July that year, shows him flipping off a security camera. The defense and prosecution argued Wednesday over what the gesture meant and how much context the jury should get, according to USA Today.
The video depicts Tsarnaev, then 19, before his arraignment. Tsarnaev appeared to use the camera as a mirror. He fixed his hair and flashed a peace sign before raising his middle finger.
This behavior isn't unusual, U.S. Marshal Gary Oliveira testified, as inmates frequently use the cameras to get guards' attention. Oliveira didn't report the incident until instructed by a supervisor to do so.
But on the the prosecution side, U.S. Attorney Nadine Pellegrini argued that "this is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev -- unconcerned, unrepentant and unchanged." Afterward, the defense fought to get another, longer video clip of Tsarnaev in the cell shown to the jury.
The jurors returned to the courtroom Tuesday for the sentencing phase of Tsarnaev's trial. Earlier this month, they found him guilty of all 30 federal charges stemming from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, carjacking, murder and shootout that killed four people and injured more than 260. Now, the same set of jurors will decide whether Tsarnaev will be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.
Before and after the middle-finger discussion Wednesday, the government's case was dominated by testimony from victims' families and bomb survivors. Slain MIT police officer Sean Collier's brother Andrew and Lu Lingzi's aunt Helen Zhao were among the witnesses who took the stand Wednesday.
Jurors are supposed to weigh aggravating factors with mitigating ones in determining Tsarnaev's fate, according to the Boston Globe. When the defense's case begins Tuesday, his attorneys are expected to emphasize how much influence his late older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had over him. The prosecution alleged that they were both Islamist radicals.