When I first read about the Tsarnaev brothers, I actually started to feel a tiny bit of sympathy for Dzhokhar, the younger one. It seemed pretty obvious that he had been led astray by the older one. The initial accounts of their life made it sound as if Dzhokhar had worshipped his older brother, Tamerlan. It sounded as if Dzhokhar, who studied hard and had friends, was the well adjusted one, and Tamerlan, who claimed he had not made a single friend in America, was the misfit.
Tamerlan had been a boxer, and had been known to beat up his girlfriend. (Having been named for one of the most bloodthirsty conquerors of all time, did he have any choice?) He had also reportedly become a more fervent Muslim than Dzhokhar.
Tamerlan even had a much more aggressive cast to his face, whereas Dzhokhar somehow looked more peaceful (though this may have been partly a function of their ages).
Then there was the fact that Dzhokhar was only 19 years old. (I would never have done what he did when I was 19, but neither would I want to be judged today on what I said and did at that age.)
But then I read that on Wednesday evening, two days after the bombing, Dzhokhar had partied with his fellow intramural soccer players at U Mass Dartmouth. By all reports he had seemed fine, and had acted normal. At one point he even described himself as "a stress-free kind of guy."
That ability to enjoy oneself after such an act smells of sociopathy: sociopaths actually do tend to be far more stress-free than the rest of us. If Dzhokhar had been pulled reluctantly into this crime by his brother, he would have been, at the very least, a little perturbed at the suffering he had caused. But he didn't seem to be: he just partied hearty.
I don't know enough to say whether he's a sociopath; maybe he's just a Muslim fanatic like his brother. But any shred of sympathy I had for him evaporated upon hearing about his partying.
It will be interesting to see what his interrogators can glean before Dzhokhar lawyers up.