Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Sentenced to Death
It’s official: Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death.
The ruling was handed down in a Boston courthouse Wednesday afternoon, as the 21-year-old Kyrgyzstani-American received the death penalty for his role in carrying out the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings with his older brother, Tamerlan. This comes after his conviction last month in Federal court, where the death penalty was mandated as a result of the conviction. This sentencing was merely a formality to render the sentence official.
However, prior to sentencing, Tsarnaev spoke for the first time since the start of his trial back in January, not only admitting his guilt but also apologizing for his horrific crimes.
“I would like to now apologize to the victims, to the survivors,” said Tsarnaev. “I am sorry for the lives that I’ve taken, for the suffering that I’ve caused you, and the damage that I’ve done.” Tsarnaev then appealed to his Muslim faith, asking “Allah to bestow his mercy on those affected in the bombing and their families.”
“I ask Allah to have mercy upon me, my brother and my family,” he continued, before finally admitting his guilt beyond all doubt. “I did it — in case there was any lingering doubt.”
Judge George O’Toole handed down the sentence with this condemnation to Tsarnaev:
“No one will remember that your teachers were fond of you … That you were funny, a good athlete,” said Judge O’Toole. “What will be remembered is that you murdered and maimed.”
I won’t speak on the ethics of the death penalty, but needless to say, I have absolutely no sympathy for Tsarnaev. He and his brother committed a horrific crime, for reasons that are beyond any justification. No matter what the sentence ended up being, it wouldn’t be a fraction of what the families of the victims have had to go through, and that’s the real shame in this. For all Tsarnaev’s apologies, I really don’t think he understands the magnitude of the suffering he caused. Hopefully, the healing can now begin, as the families of his victims attempt to move on from this unspeakable tragedy.