Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Sentenced to Death
Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death. Jurors reached the verdict after 15 hours of deliberation, exactly two years and one month after the bombings on Boylston Street.
Three jurors found that Tsarnaev acted under the influence of his older brother Tamerlan, whom the defense endeavored to depict as the true extremist—not Dzhokhar. Three jurors also found that Dzhokhar would not have carried out the attacks if not for Tamerlan. One juror found that Dzhokhar was unlikely to carry out further violence. Despite all this, the jury unanimously ruled in favor of putting the 21-year-old to death.
Tsarnaev appeared expressionless following the reading of the verdict. Judge George O’Toole noted his “composure and propriety” throughout the trial. Tsarnaev’s defense team did not offer comment on the death sentence, and instead exited the federal courthouse through a side door.
Counseling will be made available to jurors in the aftermath of the trial. For the first time since the trial began, they will be able to speak to media. The Tsarnaev saga is hardly over, however.
. @PeteWilliamsNBC says there will be a mandatory appeal for Tsarnaev now that he has been sentence to death, lasting "a decade or more"
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorpNBC) May 15, 2015
Mayor Marty Walsh issued the following statement:
I want to thank the jurors and the judiciary for their service to our community and our country. I hope this verdict provides a small amount of closure to the survivors, families, and all impacted by the violent and tragic events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon. We will forever remember and honor those who lost their lives and were affected by those senseless acts of violence on our City. Today, more than ever, we know that Boston is a City of hope, strength and resilience, that can overcome any challenge.
“I especially want to thank all the families that were affected by this terrible act of terrorism,” Gov. Charlie Baker told reporters. “While I certainly had an opinion on this, my opinion didn’t really matter.” State Police Col. Tim Alben offered this:
On behalf of the Massachusetts State Police I want to extend our thanks and deepest respect to the member of the jury in the Tsarnaev Case, For moths, these men and women placed their lives on hold for the greater good of our community. They listened intently to the testimony, carefully evaluated the evidence and were committed to the immense responsibility of thoughtful and intensive deliberation. Today, the jury has spoken with a verdict to enact the death penalty. As with the guilty verdict several weeks ago, the collective thoughts of this department remain not with the defendant and the path he chose that resulted in today’s verdict, but for the victims of his actions, their families, and this greater community.
The Boston Athletic Association, organizer of the marathon, released this statement:
We have always placed our full confidence in the justice system and the decisions of this jury. And while another chapter may be over, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who lost their lives, the families of the victims, and the survivor community.
Boston Marathon hero Carlos Arredondo and his wife Melida released the following statement:
We have an enormous amount of respect for the jury and their hard work. The trial and sentencing was a painful but necessary process. As always our thoughts today are with the victims, their families, the survivors and all those affected by this heinous act. We fully support the jury’s decision and thank them for their dedicated service. We also want to thank and recognize the City of Boston, the staff at the federal courthouse and the public at large for their support throughout the past two years.
Sgt. Dic Donohue, the Transit Police officer critically injured in a firefight with the Tsarnaev brothers, issued a short statement on the verdict the same day he returned to work for the first time:
Just over two year after the events that impacted us as a community and a nation, we can finally close this chapter in our lives. The verdict, undoubtedly a difficult decision for the jury, gives me relief and closure as well as the ability to keep moving forward.
Adrianne Haslet-Davis, the ballroom dancer who lost her foot in the bombings and testified in the trial, was pleased with the verdict:
— AdrianneHD (@AdrianneHaslet) May 15, 2015
Rebekah Gregory, another bombing survivor and amputee, also tweeted her thoughts on the verdict:
Completely numb… and waiting anxiously for the day this is really over. My heart and prayers are with my Boylston Street family. <3
— Rebekah Gregory (@rebekahmgregory) May 15, 2015
Attorney General Loretta Lynch also praised the verdict:
Attorney General Loretta Lynch says death penalty is “a fitting punishment for this horrific crime.” pic.twitter.com/w0yecvLqiD
— Brett LoGiurato (@BrettLoGiurato) May 15, 2015
MIT Police Chief John DiFava issued this statement:
— Jay Borselle (@JayWBZ) May 15, 2015
State Senate President Stan Rosenberg weighed in as well:
— Stan Rosenberg (@SenStan) May 15, 2015
We will provide updates as more information becomes available.