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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News

Relatives of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the convicted Boston Marathon bomber, tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to fire his lead attorney and hire someone who would fight to get him acquitted, Time magazine reports.

Judy Clarke and other attorneys for Tsarnaev, 21, admitted from the outset that he took part in the attack, which killed 12 people and injured 260 others. Their strategy was to save him from execution by painting him as a dupe of his radicalized older brother, Tamerlan.

It wasn't a welcome strategy in the Tsarnaev family, Maret Tsarnaeva, his aunt, told Time in an interview in Grozny in the Russian republic of Chechnya.

"It would be so much easier if he had actually committed these crimes," she said. "Then we could swallow this pain and accept it."

Despite the family's claims, Tsarnaev was convicted on all counts and there's nothing in the public record to indicate that he ever tried to change counsel.

You can read the full Time magazine interview here:

Exclusive: Relatives of Boston Marathon Bomber Break Their Silence

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev second from left, with his lead attorney, Judy Clarke, and the rest of his defense team as the guilty verdict is read April 8 in U.S. District Court in Boston.Jane Flavell Collins / AP — file