Death Penalty for Tsarnaev

Verdict comes after 14 hours of deliberations in Boston Marathon bombing trial
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 15, 2015 2:35 PM CDT
Death Penalty for Tsarnaev
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.   (AP Photo/FBI, File)

Jurors have decided that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will die for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing. The decision to give the 21-year-old the death penalty came after 14 hours of deliberations. The appeals process could drag on for years, however. The AP reports that Tsarnaev showed little reaction to the verdict: "His head was down slightly and his hands were folded in front of him as the death sentence was handed down." The New York Times similarly describes him as "stone faced," and it notes that this was the first death sentence given to a terrorist by a federal jury in the post-9/11 era.

Last month, Tsarnaev was convicted of all 30 charges against him, 17 of which carried the death penalty. His defense team never tried to prove his innocence, instead admitting his guilt but hoping jurors would see him as the pawn of older brother Tamerlan and let him live. The charges included three fatalities from the 2013 backpack bombings, plus the killing of an MIT police officer. He will be formally sentenced by US District Court Judge George A. O'Toole Jr. after victims are given a chance to speak. Tsarnaev, who did not take the stand in his own defense, will get the same opportunity. The formal sentencing may not happen until late summer, reports WBUR. (More Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.