Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sentenced to death

On Wednesday, from a Boston courtroom, U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole sentenced convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death.  Tsarnaev declined to testify in his defense; however, in the first words he uttered in the trial, he addressed the victims’ families prior to sentencing.

“I’d like to now apologize to the victims and survivors. I am sorry for the lives that I have taken, for the suffering that I have caused you, for the damage, the irreparable damage,” Tsarnaev said in the Boston, Massachusetts courtroom on Wednesday. “You told us just how unbearable it was, this thing I put you through,” Tsarnaev told them, standing in the courtroom with his hands folded in front of him. “I am Muslim. My religion is Islam. I pray to Allah to bestow his mercy on those affected in the bombing and their families,” he continued in a low voice, pausing between sentences. “I pray for your healing. I ask Allah for his mercy for me and my brother and my family.”

O’Toole had the final word prior to handing down the decision:  “You had to forget your own humanity. People will remember Tsarnaev for only the evil that he committed.”  O’Toole concluded his pre-sentence remarks with:  A God who approves killing of innocents cannot be the God of Islam.

Upon delivering the punishment, Judge O’Toole permitted victims to address Tsarnaev.

“Terrorists like you do two things in this world. One, they create mass destruction, but the second is quite interesting,” said Rebekah Gregory, who lost her left leg in the attack. “Because do you know what mass destruction really does? It brings people together. We are Boston strong and we are America strong, and choosing to mess with us was a terrible idea. How’s that for your victim impact statement?”

Patricia Campbell, whose daughter was killed in the bombing, directed her ire at Tsarnaev and stated:  “The choices that you made are despicable.”

Jennifer Rogers, the sister of murdered MIT police officer Sean Collier, lashed out:  “I will never have a complete family again.”

Bill Richard, father of an 8-year-old boy who died in the bombing, offered a slightly more forgiving tone:  “We chose love, we chose kindness, we chose peace. That is what makes us different from him.

Boston Mayor, Martin Walsh, thanked jurors in a statement which read:

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,” he said. “We will forever remember and honor those who lost their lives and were affected by those senseless acts of violence on our city,” he said.

Notwithstanding a sentence of death, Tsarnaev’s attorneys are expected to appeal the ruling.  Tsarnaev will be remanded to the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, which houses over 60 other death-row inmates in a Special Confinement Unit.  At age 21, Tsarnaev is the youngest man on death row.

Stick him in general population for a week and an appeal won’t be necessary.

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