(BOSTON) — Boston Marathon bombing survivors gave mixed reactions outside court on Wednesday after bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev broke a two-year silence to apologize for the carnage he and his brother unleashed in April 2013.
While two survivors said they believe Tsarnaev’s apology in court today was “insincere” and genuine, one said he “forgives” Tsarnaev and doesn’t wish the death penalty upon him.
“I was actually really happy that he made the statement,” survivor Henry Borgard told ABC News on Wednesday. Borgard said he was “a victim of circumstance” — walking home from work at the time of the bombing.
Fellow survivor Lynn Julian, who was at home a block away from the finish line when the bombing happened, disagreed. She said she has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, permanent hearing loss in both ears, a back injury and post-traumatic stress.
“I was surprised that had he spoke,” Weisberg, who suffered hearing loss and mild traumatic brain injury told ABC News. “He said that he was remorseful. I find that hard to believe since I’ve come to a lot of the trial and never really saw that at all from him.”
Tsarnaev said he was sorry for the lives he took and for the “irreparable damage” he did in a Boston court Wednesday.
“I ask Allah to have mercy on me, my brother and my family,” Tsarnaev said. “I want to ask for forgiveness from Allah.”
Tsarnaev had never before addressed the deadly incident. On Wednesday, he spoke in a Boston courtroom where a judge is expected to formally impose the death sentence. Tsarnaev said there should be “no doubt” that he is guilty.
Three people were killed and another 260 injured in the April 2013 dual blasts. Dzhokhar and his brother, the late Tamerlan Tsarnaev, also murdered MIT police officer Sean Collier days later, amid an intense manhunt. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police, but Dzhokhar was captured after hiding in a dry-docked boat in a Boston suburb.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty of 30 charges related to the mayhem, and in May a jury found the death penalty was an appropriate punishment for six of them.
Tsarneav’s attorney, Judy Clark, indicated the defense would appeal the case in coming days.
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