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Prosecutors use photo of Boston bomber giving the finger to push for death penalty

One prosecutor says it shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as “unconcerned, unrepentant, and unchanged.”

THE JURY DECIDING on a sentence for convicted Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been shown video of him giving the finger to a prison camera.

The US Attorney’s office in Massachusetts today released a still image from the CCTV footage, which was taken on July 10 2013, nearly three months after the April 15 attack.

Prosecutors had seized on the image, shown to the jury yesterday, in an effort to secure a death sentence for 18 of the 30 charges on which Tsarnaev was convicted two weeks ago.

“This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — unconcerned, unrepentant, and unchanged,” Assistant US Attorney Nadine Pellegrini told the court.

However, the 21-year-old’s defence team requested today that jurors consider the video, which also shows him making a “V” sign with his fingers, as well as apparently fixing his hair in the camera lens.

One friend of Tsarnaev told the Boston Globe newspaper that the “sideways V” sign wasn’t intended as an offensive gesture, but rather was a variant of the “peace” symbol.

tsarnaev-2 Source: US Attorney's Office

The sentencing phase in the Boston Marathon bomber’s trial opened in dramatic fashion yesterday, with prosecutors portraying Tsarnaev as a coldblooded killer and “America’s worst nightmare.”

The government then began trying to drive home the horror of the attack by calling to the stand witnesses who lost legs or loved ones in the attack.

“I remember hearing just bloodcurdling screams. I just remember looking around, just seeing blood everywhere, sort of like debris falling from the sky,” said Celeste Corcoran, who made her way to the stand on two artificial limbs.

Several jurors shed tears as the father of Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager killed in the bombing, described how he called his daughter “princess.”

“Krystle was the light of my life,” William Campbell Jr. said, “every father’s dream.”

Contains reporting from the Associated Press

Read: Boston bomber may face death penalty after being found guilty on all 30 counts>

Pics: Before and after – Boston since the marathon bombings>

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Dan MacGuill

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