Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will receive the death penalty.
It took the jury in Boston 14 hours over three days to arrive at the decision that Tsarnaev, who along with his brother Tamerlan killed three people in the bombing attack plus an MIT security in a subsequent shooting, deserved the death penalty.
Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police several days after the bombing.
The bombing also injured 260 people including 17 that lost legs.
Dzhokhar was found guilty last month of all 30 charges filed against him, 17 of those charges carried the possibility of the death penalty.
According to the Boston Globe, Tsarnaev's lawyers had tried to portray the younger brother as an innocent victim who followed his violence prone older brother around like a puppy dog and wound up ensnared in the plot.
The defense never contested his guilt, focusing instead on the second phase of the trial, in which the jury was asked to determine whether Tsarnaev should get life in prison without parole or a death sentence. Over 11 days of testimony jurors heard from more than 60 witnesses, most of them called by the defense in an effort to humanize Tsarnaev.
Tsarnaev did not testify himself during either phase, showing little emotion as he sat in the courtroom, leaving him an inscrutable figure to the jury that decided his fate.
That strategy didn't work and on Friday afternoon the jury returned the verdict, his fate perhaps sealed by his own words, written during the manhunt that brought him to justice.
But he wrote a statement in the boat where he was captured, saying he had acted because the US government was “killing our innocent civilians. ... We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.”
Prosecutor Steven Mellin, in his closing argument, cited a line from the note that said, “Now I don’t like killing innocent people, but in this case it is allowed.”
“These are the words of a terrorist who thought he did the right thing,” Mellin told jurors. “His actions have earned him a sentence of death.”
Massachusetts outlawed the death penalty in 1984. However Tsarnaev qualifies under American federal law which allows the death penalty under certain circumstances.
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