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Defense attorneys for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev plan to call notable anti-death penalty advocate Sister Helen Prejean to testify Thursday in the penalty phase of his trial, according to court transcripts released Wednesday night.

The Roman Catholic nun is one of two remaining witnesses Tsarnaev's defense attorneys intend to call, according to the court records.

Prejean's relationship with Louisiana death row inmate Patrick Sonnier, who was executed in 1984, inspired the a book and film adaptation, "Dead Man Walking." The movie garnered an Oscar‎ for actress Susan Sarandon for her portrayal of Prejean.

Until now, defense attorneys have called witnesses who paint a portrait of Tsarnaev as a good kid with a troubled family life who was manipulated into committing the April 15, 2013 attacks by his older brother Tamerlan.

With Prejean's testimony, Tsarnaev's attorneys will turn their attention to persuading jurors that the death penalty is ultimately an unjust sentence.

Federal prosecutors have indicated they will file a motion to restrict or prevent her from testifying.


— Tom Winter