Tsarnaev Trail Update: Guilty on All 30 Charges on Boston Bombing; Fate to be Decided Next Week

( [email protected] ) Apr 09, 2015 01:14 PM EDT
A federal jury has found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, opening the possibility that he could be sentenced to the death penalty.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, suspect #2 in the Boston Marathon explosion is pictured in. FBI/Reuters

A federal jury has found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, opening the possibility that he could be sentenced to the death penalty.

According to G. Jeffrey MacDonald of USA Today, Tsarnaev was convicted with the deaths of four people and on conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. Denise Richard, the mother of 8-year-old Martin who died in the bombing, cried after hearing the verdict from the jury.

"I don't know what justice is," bombing survivor Karen Brassard said. "I am grateful to have him off the street. I'm grateful to show that everyone in the world that this is not tolerated, this is not how we behave."

MacDonald reported that the bombings, which happened on April 15, 2013, killed three people and injured 260. The fourth victim, an MIT security officer, was killed during the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers, which lasted six days.

"Tsarnaev, flanked by his three lawyers, showed no emotion while the verdict was read, mostly staring at the defense table and occasionally looking straight ahead," MacDonald wrote. "At one point the 21-year-old former college student crossed his arms as the court clerk read the lengthy verdict."

According to USA Today, the defense tried to present the angle that although Tsarnaev was involved in the bombings, his older brother, Tamerlan, manipulated him into carrying out the bombings. Even the witnesses who testified on behalf of the defense suggested that Tsarnaev was not innocent.

"We are not asking you to go easy on Dzhokhar," defense attorney Judy Clark said in her closing argument. "[His actions] deserve to be condemned. And the time is now."

MacDonald reported that in presenting their case, the prosecution portrayed Tsarnaev as a true believer of "violent jihad" to avenge what, in his opinion, was harmful actions carried out by the United States against the Muslim world.

"The plan was to make this bombing as memorable as it could possibly be," Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb said.

Boston College Law School professor Robert Bloom told USA Today that the prosecution received "the slam dunk" after Tsarnaev admitted that he carried out the bombings in his opening statement.

Richard Valdmanis and Tim McLaughlin of Reuters reported that the state of Massachusetts scrapped the death penalty in 1984. However, cases under federal jurisdiction can still implement capital punishment, a fact that has the city of Boston split on whether or not Tsarnaev should be sentenced to death.

"I have always been against the death penalty, but when something like this happens to you, your opinions change a little bit," 34-year-old Boston consultant Armando DiCianno said.

DiCianno added that he was "glad the verdict came out this way," noting that the outcome provided "a first step toward closure."

According to MacDonald, federal judge George O'Toole told the jury that they will weigh the possibility of sentencing Tsarnaev to death "early next week," reminding them that "you are still a jury."

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