Boston bomber sentenced to death

A post at the finish where a bomb was detonated in 2013 in wrapped is flowers.
A post at the finish where a bomb was detonated in 2013 in wrapped is flowers.
A post at the finish where a bomb was detonated in 2013 is wrapped in flowers.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death on the third day of deliberations Friday afternoon for his role in the bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon. The 21-year-old was convicted last month of 30 charges, shortly before the 2015 race. Seventeen of those charges carried the possibility of the death penalty.

The jury, comprised of seven women and five men, took 14 hours to come to their decision on the punishment. The bombings killed three people and injured 264 when two pressure cooker bombs exploded at the finish of the race over two years ago.

The defense argued Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed during a shootout in the days following the bombing, carried most of the blame and that therefore Tsarnaev should have received life in prison, not death. They argued Dzhokhar, 19 at the time, acted under the influence of his brother.

“Dzhokhar Tsarnaev coldy and callously perpetrated a terrorist attack that injured hundreds of Americans and ultimately took the lives of three individuals,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement on the decision.

“We know all too well that no verdict can heal the souls of those who lost loved ones, nor the minds and bodies of those who suffered life-changing injuries from this cowardly attack. But the ultimate penalty is a fitting punishment for this horrific crime and we hope that the completion of this prosecution will bring some measure of closure to the victims and their families,” she said.

Defense lawyers never argued Tsarnaev’s involvement in the attacks, admitting openly he was who detonated the bombs, but that mitigating factors should be considered to spare his life.

“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,” said Boston mayor Martin Walsh in a statement. He also thanks the jurors for their service.

Tsarnaev, a Russian immigrant, did not testify during his two-month trial. The judge, who is bound by the jury’s decision, will formally read the sentence at a later date. He will be transferred to a federal prison where he will until he is put to death by lethal injection.