Tsarnaev sentenced to death for Boston bombing role
Published - 05/15/15 - 02:04 PM | 2692 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After 10 weeks of often gruesome testimony from more than 150 witnesses, including survivors with missing limbs and an anguished father who spoke of watching his young son die on the sidewalk in front of him, a jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the death penalty for his role in the deadly 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Tsarnaev registered no visible reaction.

The decision came a little over two years after a pair of pressure-cooker bombs ripped through a crowd of unsuspecting spectators near the marathon’s finish line in April 2013, killing three and injuring nearly 300. Among the injured are 17 amputees, many of whom took the stand against Tsarnaev with bomb shrapnel embedded in their bodies.

The same jurors — seven women and five men — convicted Tsarnaev on April 8 on all 30 counts related to the bombings, including the shooting death of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer days after the attacks. They then heard roughly three weeks of testimony in the penalty phase of the case, in which they were asked to determine whether to sentence Tsarnaev to life in prison without parole or the death penalty for his role in the bombings

Though Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty, Judy Clarke, his attorney, admitted her client’s role on day one of the first phase of the trial in March and repeatedly reiterated it, right up until the closing statements in the penalty phase. “I’m not asking you to excuse him,” Clark told jurors. “There are no excuses. I’m not asking you for sympathy.”

But Clarke did plead for “mercy” for her client, asking jurors to spare his life in spite of the “senseless and catastrophic acts” he committed. She cast Tsarnaev, now 21, as a troubled teenager from a dysfunctional family who came under the sway of his radicalized older brother, Tamerlan. The defense argued Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died from wounds sustained during a shootout with police days after the bombings, plotted the attack and built the bombs — and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who had been abandoned by his mentally ill parents and was flunking out of college, merely followed.

“If not for Tamerlan, this wouldn’t have happened,” Clarke said. “Dzhokhar would never have done this but for Tamerlan. The tragedy would never have occurred but for Tamerlan. None of it.”

Throughout the trial, prosecutors painted Tsarnaev as a cold-blooded killer who deceived even his closest friends about his jihadist leanings and remains unrepentant about what he did. They argued he was an “equal partner” who walked in lockstep with his brother to carry out an attack aimed at inflicting terror and mayhem at one of Boston’s most celebrated public events to avenge the deaths of Muslims in wars overseas.

The government repeatedly showed the jury surveillance video of Tsarnaev dropping a backpack that contained one of the bombs behind the family of 8-year-old Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the bombings, and of him casually buying milk 20 minutes after the attack. They pointed to video of Tsarnaev flashing the middle finger to a security camera in a court holding cell before his July 2013 arraignment as proof that he remains defiant.

Tsarnaev will be formally sentenced at a hearing in coming weeks, where victims will be allowed to give impact statements and address the defendant. And Tsarnaev, too, will be given the opportunity to speak — though it’s unclear if he will. He did not testify at his trial

– Yahoo! News
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