Boston Marathon bomber sentenced to death

A jury of seven women and five men sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death by execution, closing one of the most painful chapters in this city’s history.

Tsarnaev looked straight ahead, showing no emotion, as the sentence was read. Jurors wiped away tears as the judge thanked them for their service.

“Your service as jurors in this case has been the very antithesis of mob law,” U.S District Judge George O’Toole Jr. told the jury. “You can and you should be justly proud of your service in this case.”

The judgment comes from the same jury who found Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts related to the April 15, 2013, bomb attacks and four-day manhunt. The jury found him responsible for killing four people, seriously maiming 17 and injuring hundreds more.

Reaction to the sentencing was swift with praise for the difficult work of the jury in making a decision that many said was just.

Marathon survivor Sydney Corcoran posted on Twitter that she was relieved with the decision.

“My mother and I think that NOW he will go away and we will be able to move on. Justice. In his own words, ‘Eye for an eye.’ ”

Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said after the decision that Tsarnaev’s crime was not motivated by religion; it was motivated by politics. She said the gravity of the crime, the murder of a child, a police officer and two young women merited the death penalty.

“This was an act of terror,” she said.

In the end, it all came down to one question: Should Tsarnaev be put to death or spend the rest of his life in a federal prison with no possibility of parole?

In reaching their verdict, the jurors weighed 12 aggravating factors against 21 mitigating factors. They were charged to consider the suffering Tsarnaev caused, his intent, his character and his relationships, among other things.

By choosing the death penalty, the jurors clearly rejected the defense’s efforts to show Tsarnaev’s older brother Tamerlan was the mastermind of the attack and the younger man was only following a charismatic, domineering sibling.

There may be an epilogue, however, with defense appeals of the sentence, which could last years.

he verdict ends an extraordinary trial that brought amputee victims and a bereaved father face-to-face with the 21-year-old man who tore their bodies and lives apart in an act of Islamic terrorism two years earlier. In the first phase of the trial, as jurors considered guilt or innocence, they visited the boat where he hid, bled and carved in wood what prosecutors called his manifesto.

“Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop,” Tsarnaev wrote in a reference to Muslims’ suffering around the world.

From the trial’s courtroom start on March 4, the defense team acknowledged his involvement in the bombings, which he planned and carried out with his older brother, who died during the manhunt after Dzhokhar ran over him fleeing police. The big question from day one was which sentence the jury would choose.

Only two options were available because Tsarnaev was charged under federal law, which requires at least life in prison for 17 of the counts.

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