Date
25 July 2017
A protester stands outside the courtroom as Dzokhar Tsarnaev faced a guilty verdict from a US jury. Photo: Reuters
A protester stands outside the courtroom as Dzokhar Tsarnaev faced a guilty verdict from a US jury. Photo: Reuters

Boston bomber found guilty, faces death sentence

A United States jury has convicted Dzokhar Tsarnaev in the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 264 others.

The panel will now decide whether to sentence him to death, Reuters reported Thursday.

Tsarnaev, 21, is the surviving member of pair of ethnic Chechen brothers who planted the homemade pressure-cooker bombs that tore though the crowd at the finish line.

His lawyers opened Tsarnaev’s federal trial in Boston a month ago by admitting “it was him” who planted one of the bombs on April 15, 2013 and three days later shot dead a police officer, kicking off a day of chaos in Boston.

After 11 hours of deliberations over two days, the jury found him guilty of all 30 criminal counts he faced.

The slightly built, lightly goateed defendant stood silently, shifting uncomfortably as a US District court official read out each guilty finding, a process that took 25 minutes.

The courtroom was packed with survivors of the attack including the parents of eight-year-old Martin Richard, the youngest fatality, and law enforcement officials, including former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

After the verdict was read, Karen Brassard, whose left leg was badly injured by one of the bombs, said she was glad that Tsarnaev had shown no emotion.

“Personally, I wouldn’t have bought it if he had,” Brassard said. “He has been, to use my word, arrogant walking in and out of the courtroom.”

With Tsarnaev’s guilt established, the trial now moves into a second phase where prosecutors and defense attorneys will call another round of witnesses.

The jury will decide whether to sentence him to death or life in prison without possibility of parole. That phase begins next week.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers have indicated that they plan to show that his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan was the driving force behind the attack, a contention they hope will persuade the jury to spare his life.

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