Tsarnaev sentenced to death for role in Boston Marathon bombing
BOSTON –Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings and the further bloodshed that followed.
The jury deliberated for 16 hours over parts of three days before reaching its decision Friday. They were tasked with deciding whether Tsarnaev should be sentenced to life in prison or death.
The decision was announced in federal court in Boston at 3 p.m. Tsarnaev was reported sitting with his hands in front of him, with his head bowed as the sentencing was read. He reportedly did not look at jurors.
The sentencing is the final chapter to a brutal, emotionally exhausting trial that brought forth indelible images of an unspeakable crime. Jurors saw the second bomb go off by the Forum restaurant and they viewed videos and photographs of the carnage. They heard the screams and saw people on the street, dying even as bystanders rushed to help. And they heard from people who survived against all odds but continue to struggle with their injuries.
Rescuers spoke of the decisions they had to make in the face of such overwhelming bloodshed: Who could they save, and who should they leave behind?
The bombing of the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, recalled other acts of terror on U.S. soil like the attacks of September 11, 2001. The homemade bombs, built with pressure cookers loaded with gunpowder, BBs and nails, also injured at least 240 people; 17 of them lost limbs.
Boston was set on edge for days as the suspects remained at large. Finally, on April 18, police released surveillance images of two suspects they called “black hat” and “white hat.” It didn’t take long for the two to be identified as Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Within just a few hours of the release of the photos, a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was shot to death as the fleeing brothers tried to take his gun. But they were thwarted by a locked safety holster.
The Tsarnaev brothers hijacked a Mercedes SUV; Tamerlan told the driver he was responsible for the marathon bombing. The driver escaped when the brothers stopped at a convenience store for gas and snacks.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a 26-year-old married father and former Golden Gloves boxer, died hours later in a standoff with police in Watertown, a Boston suburb. Out of ammunition, he tossed his empty pistol at an officer and walked into a hail of police bullets. As officers wrestled him to the ground, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ran at them in the stolen Mercedes SUV, running over his brother and dragging him.
This story is breaking and will be updated shortly.