Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, sentenced to death
BOSTON — A jury of seven women and five men sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death by execution, closing one of the most painful chapters in this city’s history.
Tsarnaev looked straight ahead, showing no emotion, as the sentence was read. Jurors wiped away tears as the judge thanked them for their service.
“Your service as jurors in this case has been the very antithesis of mob law,” U.S District Judge George O’Toole Jr. told the jury. “You can and you should be justly proud of your service in this case.”
The judgment comes from the same jury who found Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts related to the April 15, 2013, bomb attacks and four-day manhunt. The jury found him responsible for killing four people, seriously maiming 17 and injuring hundreds more.
Reaction to the sentencing was swift with praise for the difficult work of the jury in making a decision that many said was just.
Marathon survivor Sydney Corcoran posted on Twitter that she was relieved with the decision.
“My mother and I think that NOW he will go away and we will be able to move on. Justice. In his own words, ‘Eye for an eye.’ ”
Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said after the decision that Tsarnaev’s crime was not motivated by religion; it was motivated by politics. She said the gravity of the crime, the murder of a child, a police officer and two young women merited the death penalty.
“This was an act of terror,” she said.
His four defense attorneys left the courthouse through a back door. They walked away quickly together, ignoring questions from reporters.
Tsarnaev will next face a sentencing hearing to officially sentence him. No date has been set yet. After he is formally sentenced, the Federal Bureau of Prisons will decide where he will be incarcerated until the date of the execution or if he appeals the sentencing.
In the end, it all came down to one question: Should Tsarnaev be put to death or spend the rest of his life in a federal prison with no possibility of parole?
In reaching their verdict, the jurors weighed 12 aggravating factors against 21 mitigating factors. They were charged to consider the suffering Tsarnaev caused, his intent, his character and his relationships, among other things.
By choosing the death penalty, the jurors clearly rejected the defense’s efforts to show Tsarnaev’s older brother Tamerlan was the mastermind of the attack and the younger man was only following a charismatic, domineering sibling.
There may be an epilogue, however, with defense appeals of the sentence, which could last years.