- Anzor Tsarnaev said family still has hope after jury of seven women and five men ruled that his son should die.
- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted of 17 charges eligible for death sentence over 2013 bombing.
- Jury unanimously ruled in favor of capital punishment for six of the counts.
- Tsarnaev was somber and emotionless as death sentence was delivered.
- Defense lawyers had argued he should get life in prison without parole.
- Survivor Sydney Corcoran said the punishment is ‘an eye for an eye’ and that bomber ‘took away his own right to live’.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s father said the family will fight the death sentence he was given yesterday for the Boston Marathon bombings ‘until the end’.
Anzor Tsarnaev said the family had hope during the trial and they ‘still do’.
His father was just one of the family members who rallied behind Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after the jury unanimously voted to punish the 21-year-old with death for his part in detonating two bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.
‘What a parent can feel at such moment? It is hard,’ Anzor Tsarnaev told ABC News from Dagestan, Russia. ‘Hope exists always.’
Scroll down for videos:
Saeed Tsarnaev, Anzor’s brother, blamed the defense lawyers for giving the family too much hope and said they plan to appeal the death sentence, which he called a ‘big tragedy’ that was ‘insulting’ to the family’s name.
Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s aunt, Maret Tsarnaeva, said she was not surprised that her nephew received the death sentence but that the punishment doesn’t matter because she believes the family will prove he is not guilty.
Anzor Tsarnaev became a subject during the sentencing phase of the trial, as the defense tried to argue his mental illness and brain damage deprived Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ‘of needed stability and guidance during his adolescence,’ according to Boston.com.
During the trial a doctor diagnosed Anzor Tsarnaev, who was tortured during the Russian-Chechen war, with PTSD and agoraphobia, as well as brain disease he believed had been caused from boxing and a childhood head injury.
But although all 12 jurors areed Anzor Tsarnaev had been disabled by ‘mental illness and brain damage’ only two agreed that this had deprived Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of stability in his childhood.
Likewise, only two jurors agreed that this disability made Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who Dzhokhar carried out the attacks with, the ‘dominant male figure’ in his life.
Tsarnaev was convicted last month of all 30 federal charges against him, 17 of which carried the possibility of the death penalty.
The same jury, comprised of seven women and five men, found that he deserved the death penalty for some but not all of the charges – which means he will be executed by lethal injection.
Tsarnaev’s defense lawyers, who did not dispute that he and his brother Tamerlan carried out the bombings, said he deserved life in prison instead.
Some families affected by the bombing agreed.
Bill and Denise Richard, parents of eight-year-old victim Martin Richard, said the government should stop seeking the death penalty because it will draw out the legal process.
Writing in the Boston Globe, they said the appeals and trial will only ‘prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives’.
Michael Ward, a heroic firefighter who rescued victims during the attack, said the death sentence was nothing to celebrate.
‘He wanted to go to hell – he is going to there early,’ he said about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Ward was off duty along the marathon route when two explosions went off.
On Friday, two years after he pulled wounded men, women and children to safety, Ward was in court to witness Tsarnaev being sentenced to death.
‘I remember the vile, disgusting thing that this person did and his brother,’ Ward told a press conference. ‘They destroyed countless innocent lives.’
Families of bombing victims, including the Richard family, packed the courtroom to hear the verdict.
When Tsarnaev entered he was said to appear emotionless – even relaxed – much like at every other phase of the trial. He was wearing a dark sport coat and a light-colored shirt.
Had he not carried out the bombings, Tsarnaev would have been due to graduate from college today instead of being sentenced to death.
He was said to be equally expressionless when the jury delivered their verdict.
Reporters in the courtroom said he cracked his knuckles twice and ran his hands through his hair as it became clear he would be executed.
Before the verdict, jurors rules on a swathe of aggravating factors – declaring that Tsarnaev extensively planned the attack purposefully targeted a child, acted in a ‘heinous and cruel’ manner and has no remorse for his actions.
However, they decided there was not enough evidence to prove he incited others to make further attacks against the United States.
The defense sought to save Tsarnaev’s life by pinning most of the blame on his radicalized older brother. However, only three jurors agreed that this was a mitigating factor in the crimes.
Prosecutors portrayed Tsarnaev as an equal partner in the attack and so heartless he placed a bomb behind children, killing eight-year-old Martin Richard.
Other victims of the bombing include 23-year-old Chinese exchange student Lingzi Lu and 29-year-old restaurant managed Krystle Campbell.
Sean A Collier, a 27-year-old police officer, was killed by the Tsarnaevs when the two were being hunted down. Dzhokhar’s older brother Tamerlan died before he could be caught.
Before Dzhokhar launched the bombing attack he was a student at the University of Massachusetts’s Dartmouth campus.
His peers in the class of 2015 were graduating as he was sentenced to death Friday.
Jurors in Tsarnaev’s trail heard 10 weeks of testimony, spanning about 150 witnesses, including people whose legs were torn off by the shrapnel-filled bombs.
William Richard described the gut-wrenching decision to leave Martin to die of his wounds so that he could save the life of his daughter, Jane, who lost a leg but survived.
Prosecutors described Tsarnaev as an adherent of al Qaeda’s militant Islamist views who carried out the attack as an act of retribution for U.S. military campaigns in Muslim-dominated countries.
In their closing arguments, Tsarnaev’s defense told the jury ‘Dzhokhar is not the worst of the worst, and that’s what the death penalty is reserved for – the worst of the worst.’
Attorney Judy Clarke claimed that he is ‘genuinely sorry for what he’s done’ and has ‘the potential for redemption’.
Jurors were told that each of them individually had the power to save Tsarnaev’s life, as the death sentence requires all 12 to agree. In this case, nobody dissented from capital punishment.
Meanwhile prosecution lawyer Steve Mellin argued that Tsarnaev’s actions ‘earned him a sentence of death’.
He said: ‘The defendant knew what kind of hell was going to be unleashed.’
Bombing victim Sydney Corcoran, who nearly bled to death and whose mother lost both her legs, supported the death sentence.
She said: ‘My mother and I think that NOW he will go away and we will be able to move on. Justice.
‘In his own words, “an eye for an eye.”‘
She added: ‘He took away his own right to live.’
Liz Norden, whose two sons both lost a leg in the explosion, said: ‘I have to watch my two sons put legs on every day… but it feels like a weight’s been lifted. It was justice.’
Adrienne Haslet, a dancer who lost a leg in the attack, said: ‘My heart is with our entire survivor community. I am thrilled with the verdict!’
Dic Donohue, a police officer who was injured trying to apprehend the Tsarnaevs, said: ‘Just over two years after the events that impacted us as a community and a nation, we can finally close this chapter in our lives.
‘The verdict, undoubtedly a difficult decision for the jury, gives me relief and closure as well as the ability to keep moving forward.’
After the sentence was delivered, Attorney General Loretta Lynch welcomed the sentence as ‘a fitting punishment for this horrific crime’.
She said: ‘Dzhokhar Tsarnaev coldly and callously perpetrated a terrorist attack that injured hundreds of Americans and ultimately took the lives of three individuals’.
She continued: ‘We know all too well that 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 and we hope that the completion of this prosecution will bring some measure of closure to the victims and their families.’
Boston mayor Marty Walsh also gave a statement. He said: ‘I hope this verdict provides a small amount of closure to the survivors, families, and all impacted by the violent and tragic events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon.
‘We will forever remember and honor those who lost their lives and were affected by those senseless acts of violence on our City.
‘Today, more than ever, we know that Boston is a city of hope, strength and resilience, that can overcome any challenge.’
Charlie Baker, the governor of Massachusetts, added: ‘I think every time somebody runs the marathon, it will be impossible for this to be too far from their minds.
‘The marathon has certainly changed forever… and that by definition, I suppose, changes Boston.’
- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sentenced to death for Boston Marathon bombing – Metro – The Boston Globe
- To end the anguish, drop the death penalty – Metro – The Boston Globe
- Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Sentenced to Death – ABC News
- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Father on Death Sentence: ‘We Will Fight Until the End’ – ABC News
- Tsarnaev’s father reacts to sentence: ‘We will fight until the end’ – Massachusetts news – Boston.com