BOSTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaevwas sentenced to death by a jury Friday on some of the counts on which he was found guilty.
As CBS2’s Dana Tyler reported, Tsarnaev was convicted last month of all 30 federal charges against him — 17 of which carried the possibility of the death penalty.
Tsarnaev sat stone-faced as he heard the sentence to death by lethal injection. Afterward, Tsarnaev ran his hands through his hair and swallowed, with his head down and his hands folded.
“I think we sent a message — a strong message – that we’re not going to tolerate terrorism, and I think whether you agree with the death penalty or don’t, I think message is sent you’re not going to blow up our marathon. You’re not going to blow up our city,” said Boston police Commissioner William Evans.
Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured when two pressure-cooker bombs packed with shrapnel exploded near the marathon finish line April 15, 2013. It was the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Tsarnaev’s defense attorney, renowned death penalty specialist Judy Clarke, admitted from the beginning that he participated in the bombings, bluntly telling jurors in her opening statement: “It was him.”
But the defense sought to show that most of the blame for the attack fell on his radicalized older brother — Tamerlan, 26 — who wanted to punish the U.S. for its actions in Muslim countries. They said Dzhokhar was an impressionable 19-year-old who fell under the influence of a brother he admired.
Prosecutors portrayed Tsarnaev as an equal partner in the attack, saying he was so heartless he put a bomb behind a group of children, killing an 8-year-old boy.
Liz Norden’s two sons lost their legs in the bombing.
“I watched my kids – you know, my two boys — almost die,” Norden said.
Jurors heard emotional testimony from bombing survivors who described seeing their legs blown off or watching someone next to them die. Killed were Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student from China; Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager from Medford; and 8-year-old Martin Richard, who had gone to watch the marathon with his family. Seventeen people lost legs in the bombings.
During the gripping and heartwrenching testimony from the bombing survivors and victims’ relatives, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev seemingly showed no remorse. He only showed some emotion when a relative testified about the defendant’s childhood.
The Tsarnaev brothers killed Massachusetts Institute of Technology police Officer Sean Collier days later. Tamerlan died in a shootout with police days after the bombing.
After the attack, the two planned to come to New York City to detonate their remaining explosives in Times Square, but they were unable to carry out the plot, officials said.
The Associated Press called Tsarnaev’s father in Russia. When told of the news, he groaned and hung up the phone, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
This was the first time a federal jury has sentenced a terrorist to death since the 9/11 attacks. Tsarnaev’s attorneys said they will appeal the sentence.
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