On Friday, the 15th of May 2015, the jury finally decided on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s fate – he was sentenced to death. This happened against all odds, as most people living in Boston oppose death penalty. According to a recent survey, 60 percent of them believed Tsarnaev should spend his life in prison. It was believed that the jurors were selected because they were prepared not to rule out death penalty. They deliberated for 14 hours before giving a verdict.
However, after a long trial in which 63 testimonies from witnesses were taken into account, the 21-year-old Boston Bomber got his sentence and his reaction was far from one of shock or despair. Instead, he kept a look that was very suggestive of his general disregard for human life, as he pointed his fingers as if he were shooting a gun. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was indicted on thirty charges related to the terrorist attacks on April 15 2013, during a Boston Marathon that resulted in three deaths and 264 people injured, 14 of whom needed amputations. Nevertheless, the death penalty was due to 6 counts only. Among these, murder, the use of a mass destruction weapon, possession and use of a firearm (the pressure cooker bomb that he placed at the finish line), bombing a public space, destruction of public property are the most important ones.
US Attorney Carmen Ortiz gave the thumbs up to the jury, regarding the verdict as “fair and just” and pointed out the correctness of the US justice system: “Even the worst of the worst deserve a fair trial and due process of law.” She strongly defended the jury’s right to indicate such harsh punishment: “It was a political crime designed to intimidate and coerce the United States. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will pay with his life,’’ she said.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers did not comment on the verdict but they are expected to appeal. Their main defense line was that Dzhokhar was influenced by his brother, Tamerlan, who placed the second bomb. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died during the gunfire exchange with the police in Watertown, Massachusetts, which occurred three days after Boston marathon bombings.
Officials of the justice department hope that the verdict will give a sense of closure to the families who lost their loved ones during the heinous attack that caused so much sufferance. “No verdict can heal the souls of those who lost loved ones, nor the minds and bodies of those who suffered life-changing injuries from this cowardly attack. But the ultimate penalty is a fitting punishment for this horrific crime,” said US Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Image Source: Salon