On May 15, Friday a federal jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (21), the Boston Marathon bomber to death. In the 2013 attack Tsarnaev, who was a former college student, planted together with his brother twin bombs near the finish line of the marathon. Three persons were killed in the attack and Tsarnaev made himself guilty of six capital counts.
It took the jury more than 14 hours to deliberate before finally reaching their decision. When the verdict was read Tsarnaev showed no emotion, he simply stood with his hands folded in front of him, whereas the lawyers at his side had a grim air and refused to make any comments or ask any questions. Carmen Ortiz, Massachusetts U.S. Attorney, said that the trial proved that they are not scared by acts of terror or by radical ideals.
After the 9/11 era this trial represents the first time federal prosecutors got the death penalty in a terrorism case, says director of the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project, Kevin McNally, who coordinated the defense. Tsarnaev could end up in Terre Haute, Indiana, but until he is formally sentenced in court by the judges the final destination will not be known. So far the sentencing date has not been decided.
The reactions of the persons who were affected by the bombing were different. For example Karen Brassard who suffered leg injuries in the attack said that she is not happy since one cannot be happy when it comes to taking somebody’s life, but she confessed that she was satisfied and grateful because a conclusion was reached. Liz Norden, whose children both lost legs in the incident confessed that she felt relieved.
“There are no winners today but I feel justice for my family. I have to watch my two sons put a leg on every day, but I can tell you it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”
Martin Richard (8) was the youngest victim of the bombing. His family did not make any public comments about the verdict, but before the guilt phase of the trial they said that they wanted Tsarnaev to receive life in prison since a death penalty would make him the center of attention for years.
The decision of the jury to put Tsarnaev to death was unanimous since six of the 17 counts were punished with execution. Tsarnaev could have had only one and would have been faced with execution. This proves that the jury and the prosecutors agreed that he was solely responsible for his deeds.
Image Source: The New Yorker