Saturday, June 3, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Sentenced to Death

BOSTON (CN) - Jurors returned a death sentence Friday for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the admitted perpetrator of the largest terrorist attack against the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

The jury began deliberating the 21-year-old Boston Marathon bomber's fate in the late afternoon Wednesday after a month-long penalty phase trial.

On April 8, after a guilt-phase trial of the same duration, the jury found Tsarnaev guilty of setting off homemade bombs with his brother, Tamerlan, at the Boylston Street finish line of the April 15, 2013, marathon.

Tsarnaev faced 30 counts related to the three people killed in those bombings, the more than 260 injured, and the measures he took while trying to evade apprehension, including the killing of a police officer.

Tsarneav's brother, whom his defense credited as the mastermind behind the carnage, died during a shootout with police in their attempt to flee to New York City after being identified as the bombers.

Seventeen of Tsarnaev's convictions carried the death penalty.

The defense had five unsuccessful bids to change the venue and jury selection took two months.

While the prosecution emphasized Tsarnaev's adherence to radical Islam, the defense sought to portray the former University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth student as average, yet impressionable. Tsarnaev and his ethnic Chechen family had immigrated to the United States as refugees from Kyrgystan.

Killed in the bombings were Martin Richard, 8; restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, 29; and graduate student Lingzi Lu, 23. The 27-year-old police officer for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology whom Tsarnaev and his brother killed was named Sean Collier.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.