Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Guilty on All Counts
Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been found guilty on all counts. He now faces the death penalty.
A jury in Massachusetts found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 21-year-old who brought terror to the streets of Boston during the 2013 marathon, guilty on all charges. He now faces the death penalty.
Tsarnaev, who along with then 26-year-old brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev detonated two bombs near the finish line of the race two years ago, was found guilty on all 30 counts he faced. His older brother was killed in a shootout with police after the attack, which left three people dead and 264 injured.
The brothers were inspired by Islamic radicals in Dagestan, although the two have no known affiliation with any terror group. The older Tamerlan was the ringleader for the attack. Tsarnaev’s lawyers argued the older brother holds primary responsibility for the strike.
“If not for Tamerlan, it would not have happened,” defense attorney Judy Clarke told the jury.
The panel was unmoved and convicted Tsarnaev on all counts he faced after two days of deliberation. They were forced to watch gruesome video from April 15, 2013, the day of the attack, that showed a disemboweled 8-year-old boy and his sister’s leg being blown off. They also watched a video of bloodied victims being treated in the aftermath. Survivors and the families of those killed cried throughout testimony.
The trial began March 4. Prosecutors called 92 witnesses to the stand. The defense called just four.
The guilty verdict closes the book on one of the worst terror attacks in the United States since 9/11. It also comes amid fears of a similar homegrown attack from militants associated with the Islamic State. In the last few months more than 20 people have been arrested for conspiring with the terror group.
Tsarnaev now faces the death sentence, or at the very least, life in prison. Some 17 of the 30 counts on which he was found guilty are death-penalty eligible. Massachusetts has no death penalty, but federal capital crimes like the Tsarnaev case can be tried there. A recent poll showed 62 percent of Bostonians do not want Tsarnaev to be executed. The last federal execution was Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh in 2001.
Now, the trial will proceed penalty phase where Tsarnaev’s fate will be determined by the jury. Tsarnaev’s lawyer Clarke has successfully kept all of her clients off death row, including the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and Jared Loughner, the man who killed a judge and shot former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).
The greater Boston area was gripped with fears as the brothers eluded authorities in the days after the attack. Tamerlan was killed on April 19 when he was shot by police and then run over by his younger brother. He had killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer the previous day.
Dzhokhar was later found hiding in a boat in Watertown, a small town outside of Boston, on April 19.
Photo Credit: Handout