Death Penalty

Boston Marathon bomber sentenced to death by federal judge

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Following a federal jury’s decision last month to impose the ultimate penalty on the Boston Marathon bomber, it was no surprise when the judge in the case gave the mandatory death sentence to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Wednesday.

What was perhaps unexpected was the defendant’s acknowledgement of his guilt and his tearful apology, according to the Boston Globe (sub. req.) and Reuters. It is the first time he has spoken publicly since the April 2013 attack, other than to plead not guilty.

“I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering that I have caused you, for the terrible damage I have done, irreparable damage,” said Tsarnaev, 21, who also acknowledged for the first time “I did do it.”

Three people died in the bombing attack and more than 260 were wounded. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was also killed three days later when the Tsarnaev brothers were on the run. Authorities say Tsarnaev’s older brother Tamerlan also was responsible, but he died during a police shootout before the younger sibling was captured.

After the defendant’s apology, Judge George O’Toole Jr. quoted from a William Shakespeare play, telling court attendees, “One of Shakespeare’s characters observes, ‘The evil that men do lives after them. The good is often interred with their bones.’ “

And, the judge said, “So it will be for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,” adding: “What will be remembered is that you murdered and maimed innocent people, and that you did it willfully and intentionally. You did it on purpose,” the Associated Press reports.

The Shakespeare quote is from a speech by Mark Antony after Julius Caesar is killed, in the play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.

Around 1 p.m., a man was taken into custody outside the Boston courthouse, after allegedly driving through a barrier in a vehicle without license plates, reports another Associated Press story. The man was detained for questioning, but no other information was yet available.

Related coverage:

The Guardian: “Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: ‘I am guilty and I am sorry’ “

New York Times (reg. req.): “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Apologizes to Victims of Boston Marathon Bombing” “Tsarnaev gets death penalty in Boston Marathon bombings”

ABA Journal: “Judy Clarke has a knack for keeping her notorious clients off death row”

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