In the most recent development in the Boston Marathon bomber case, a U.S. judge announced that the convicted murderer, 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will stand before 20 bombing victims during his sentencing hearing next month.

A total of 264 people were injured and three people were killed in the Boston Marathon attack that Tsarnaev and his brother carried out in 2013. Tsarnaev was sentenced to death for the crimes.

According to federal prosecutors, a group of about 20 victims, including people who were directly injured, and family and friends of the injured and killed, say that they want to give statements during the sentencing hearing.

Tsarnaev May Also Make a Public Statement

Tsarnaev will also have the ability to give a statement during the hearing, but he is not under any obligation to do so. During his trial, the man did not offer any statements in his defense.

The murder trial proceedings for Tsarnaev included graphic videos and pictures of the exploding bombs and the carnage they caused during the 2013 Boston Marathon. The photo and video evidence was startlingly graphic, showing victims lying in pools of blood and screaming for help, as emergency medical personnel tried to save their lives under the fear of further attacks.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's defense counsel tried to claim that it was actually the young man's older brother, Tamerlan, who masterminded the gruesome attacks, but the jury rejected this view and sentenced Dzhokhar to death in lieu of a lifetime prison sentence.

Could Be Years or Decades Before the Execution

The young man's death sentence will no doubt be challenged by his attorneys, and it is believed that the criminal appeals process could take years, and even decades, before it is completely resolved. Only three out of 74 convicts sentenced to death by the federal government have actually been executed since 1988.