The only time he reacted in a way that showed he in anyway understood the gravity of his predicament was when his aunt took the stand. Patimat Suleimanova, who was flown in from Dagestan, was only able to tell the court her name, and the year she was born before breaking down into tears and escorted from the stand.
Maybe there is something about his family oversees that managed to engender in Tsarnaev an emotional response. Another aunt testified that Tsarnaev cried when Simba’s father died in the Lion King.
Former federal prosecutor George Vien says Tsarnaev’s tears may have backfired. Vien says the brief emotional response likely showed the jury two things, “One, he did not have remorse for the victims, and two, he was capable of showing emotion when something bothered him. It was a deadly combination for him.”