Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death today by a federal jury for the 2013 attacks at the Boston Marathon that left four people dead.
Tsarnaev, along his older brother Tamerlan (who was killed after Dzhokhar drove over him while trying to ram into police), planted and detonated two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Together, the pair injured more than 260 people and killed three. In the course of their getaway, the Boston Bombers also killed an MIT police officer.
Tsarnaev, who wrote his confession to the bombings while hiding in a boat, was sentenced to death after being found guilty of all 30 charges filed against him. Prosecutors framed Tsarnaev’s actions as being carried out in a heinous, heinous, cruel and depraved manner. It took the jury 14 hours of deliberation over the course of three days, and despite Tsarnaev’s defense team pleading he was under the control of his older brother, only three jurors believed that to be the case.
Tsarnaev showed no emotion and stared straight ahead as the verdict was read. The Boston bomber may have not had much of a reaction inside the courtroom, but reactions outside the courtroom spread quickly.
Sydney Corcoran, a Boston bombing survivor who nearly bled to death from the blasts, expressed her relief on Twitter.
My mother and I think that NOW he will go away and we will be able to move on. Justice. In his own words, "an eye for an eye".
— Sydney Corcoran (@Sydney23Lynne) May 15, 2015
Jarrod Clowery, who was hit with countless pieces of shrapnel from one of the bombs, acknowledged it could not have been an easy decision for the jury.
“I’m just glad I didn’t have to do it and have to go through it. I stand behind what the jury and then the judge and everybody involved, I stand behind their verdict.”
Karen Brassard, who survived bomb pieces being lodged in her ankle and skin, and whose husband, Ron, suffered a severed artery, felt the sentencing simply closed another chapter in her life.
“[Today] feels different only because it feels more complete. It feels like we can take a breath and kind of, actually, breathe again. There is nothing happy about having to take somebody’s life. I’m satisfied, grateful that they came to that conclusion because for me, I think, it was the just conclusion.”
The state of Massachusetts does not allow capital punishment for state crimes, and has not put anyone to death since the 1940s. But Tsarnaev was tried under federal law, which opened the door for lethal injection.
As is typically the case, the Boston Bomber will not face immediate death. His defense team will likely appeal the decision, which could take years. Due to the long appeal process, only three of the 80 people sentenced to death since 1988 have actually been executed.
[Image via The Sheppard Post]