(BOSTON) — Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death Friday by a jury in a Boston federal courthouse.
Tsarnaev was convicted by the same jury of seven women and five men last month of all 30 counts related to the deadly April 15, 2013 bombing. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and another 260 were injured when twin blasts ripped through crowds near the finish line of the marathon.
The jury had been deliberating since Wednesday, tasked with whether Tsarnaev should face death or life in prison.
Tsarnaev’s older brother and co-conspirator, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police four days after the explosions, hours before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured in a dry-docket boat.
During his trial, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty, but his defense said from the start he would not shirk responsibility for his role in the blasts –- only that he did it while under his older brother’s influence. Legal analysts at the time said the defense was designed to set up a similar tactic in the death penalty phase of the trial in order to win Tsarnaev life in prison.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement that he hoped the decision would bring “a small amount of closure to the survivors, families, and all impacted by the violent and tragic events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon.”
“We will forever remember and honor those who lost their lives and were affected by those senseless acts of violence on our City,” Walsh added. “Today, more than ever, we know that Boston is a city of hope, strength and resilience, that can overcome any challenge.”
In a front page Op-Ed for the Boston Globe, the parents of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old killed in the blasts, argued for the government to drop the death penalty and give Tsarnaev life in prison “to end the anguish.”
“As long as the defendant is in the spotlight, we have no choice but to live a story told on his terms, not ours,” Bill and Denise Richard wrote. “The minute the defendant fades from our newspapers and TV screens is the minute we begin the process of rebuilding our lives and our family.”
Liz Norden, the mother of two men who each lost limbs in the blast, is in the courthouse Friday where she hopes the jury decides on death.
“I want to see him die for what he did to my boys,” Norden told ABC News recently.
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Recent posts in National News