The trial of 21-year-old accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is underway in Boston, and as his lawyer opened the defense by saying, "It was him," there's only one way this road is going. As per The New York Times, the question facing the jury is whether Tsarnaev will get life in prison or the death penalty: a decision already (seemingly) tilted by the "death qualified" aspect of jury selection, in which opposing the death penalty precludes jury duty on a case like this.
Sympathy for Tsarnaev may also be in short supply after the jury heard physically horrific testimony from government attorneys (William Weinreb described a victim with "the inside of her stomach pouring out") as well as the in-person testimony of survivors like Rebekah Gregory, pictured above with her then-fiancé (who she survived the bombing with, then married, and recently divorced) and her son, who witnessed his mother's injuries.
Gregory, whose leg was ultimately amputated, took to Facebook to write a note to Tsarnaev, and it's really something. She starts by talking about how she had felt afraid of him, right up until the courtroom: "Up until now, I have been truly scared of you and because of this, fearful of everything else people might be capable of."
And then she writes this:
But today, all that changed. Because this afternoon, I got to walk into a courtroom and take my place at the witness stand, just a few feet away from where you were sitting. (I was WALKING. Did you get that?) And today I explained all the horrific details, of how you changed my life, to the people that literally hold YOURS in their hands. That's a little scary right? And this afternoon before going in, I'm not going to lie..my palms were sweaty. And sitting up there talking to the prosecution did make me cry. But today, do you know what else happened? TODAY...I looked at you right in the face....and realized I wasn't afraid anymore. And today I realized that sitting across from you was somehow the crazy kind of step forward that I needed all along.
And I think that's the ironic thing that happens when someone intends something for evil. Because somehow, some way, it always ends up good.
[....] So yes...you did take a part of me. Congratulations you now have a leg up...literally. But in so many ways, you saved my life. Because now, I am so much more appreciative of every new day I am given. And now, I get to hug my son even tighter than before, blessed that he is THRIVING, despite everything that has happened.
So now...while you are sitting in solitary confinement, (awaiting the verdict on your life), I will be actually ENJOYING everything this beautiful world has to offer. And guess what else? I will do so without fear....of YOU. Because now to me you're a nobody, and it is official that you have lost. So man that really sucks for you bro. I truly hope it was worth it.
Someone you shouldn't have messed with
Emphases my own (but really, Boston's.) Read the whole letter here. Here's to you, Rebekah Gregory.
Image via AP.