Two years after the Boston Marathon bombing that killed 3 and injured 264, a jury of seven women and five men sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death by execution.
The decision that Tsarnaev should die took 14 hours to make, ending with all 12 jurors voting for death.
As the sentence was read, Tsarnaev looked straight ahead, showing no emotion.
The judgment comes from the same jury who found Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts related to the April 15, 2013, bomb attacks and 4-day manhunt. The jury found him responsible for killing four people, seriously maiming 17 and injuring hundreds more.
Tsarnaev faced the possibility of death on 17 charges and was sentenced to death on six of them.
Marathon survivor Sydney Corcoran posted on Twitter that she was relieved with the decision.
My mother and I think that NOW he will go away and we will be able to move on. Justice. In his own words, “an eye for an eye”.
— Sydney Corcoran (@Sydney23Lynne) May 15, 2015
Michael Ward, an off-duty firefighter who was at the scene on the day of the bombing, said, “This is nothing to celebrate. This is a matter of justice.” He said Tsarnaev “wanted to go to hell — and he’s going to get there early.”
Boston bombing survivor, Karen Brassard, said today “feels different only because it feels more complete. It feels like we can take a breath and kind of, actually, breathe again.”
Tsarnaev will next face a sentencing hearing to officially sentence him. No date has been set yet, and it may be another decade before he is actually put to death, leaving some upset that he may be kept in the spotlight until then.
Tsarnaev will be transferred to the US Penitentiary in Terra Haute, Indiana, where he will remain until he is eventually put to death by lethal injection.
The high-security super-max prison houses federal death-row inmates. Some have called it “Guantanamo North” and it has been described by a former warden as a “version of hell” and a place that “is not designed for humanity.” His attorneys used such descriptions to argue before the jury that a life sentence would not be a reprieve.
The outcome was a victory for prosecutors, who said the former college student worked with his older brother and carried out the attack in a “heinous, cruel and depraved manner.” Jurors rejected arguments that Tsarnaev was only following his older brother, Tamerlan, who died during the man hunt, and was remorseful over the suffering he caused.
Tsarnaev scribbled a explanation for his terrorism attack on the boat he was hiding in right before he was caught, saying the United States was “killing our innocent civilians. We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.”
Prosecutor Steven Mellin, in his closing argument, quoted a line from the note. “Now I don’t like killing innocent people, but in this case, it is allowed,” he read.
Only 3 criminals have been executed under federal law in more than a quarter century: Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in 2001, drug trafficker and murderer Juan Raul Garza in 2001, and kidnapper, rapist and murderer Louis Jones Jr. in 2003. 61 convicts are on federal death row, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, USA Today reports.