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Boston Marathon Bomber Is Sentenced To Death

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Boston Marathon Bomber Is Sentenced To Death


A federal jury in Boston has sentenced Dzohkhar Tsarnaev to death. The jury reached its unanimous decision Friday afternoon.

The 21-year-old Tsarnaev was responsible, along with his older brother Tamerlan, for the April 15, 2013, attack on the Boston Marathon. The bombing left three people dead, including an eight-year-old boy, and over 200 injured.

This is the same jury that last month found Tsarnaev guilty of all 30 charges against him, 17 of which were capital charges, meeting the legal requirements for the death penalty. These charges included conspiracy to use, and possession of, a weapon of mass destruction, possession and use of a firearm, and bombing of a public place.

The 12-person jury deliberated for 15 hours, according to MSNBC.

During the sentencing phase of the trial Tsarnaev’s defense attorneys emphasized that Tsarnaev had been in thrall to the influence of his older brother, Tamerlan, who died in a standoff with police. Defense attorney David I. Bruck argued that life in the federal “supermax” prison would have been sufficient punishment, and would deny Tsarnaev the publicity he would receive from a protracted appeals process.

During arguments, Bruck showed jurors a picture of the cramped, virtually sunless cell Tsarnaev would spend the rest of his days.

“He goes there and he’s forgotten,” Bruck said. “No more [media] spotlight, like the death penalty brings. His legal case will be over for good, and no martyrdom. Just years and years of punishment, day after day, while he grows up to face the lonely struggle of dealing with what he did.”

Judy Clarke, Tsarnaev’s chief defense attorney, a leading expert on capital punishment, had previously represented, and saved from death row, Theodore Kaczynski, the “Unabomber,” and Zacarias Moussaoui, the self-described “20th hijacker” of the 9/11 attacks.

Tsarnaev would be the first prisoner executed by the U.S. federal government since 2003.

This post has been updated.

Sam Reisman

Sam Reisman is the former managing editor at The National Memo, where he still writes the weekly "This Week In Crazy" column. His writing has appeared in Flavorpill, The Huffington Post, Columbia Daily Spectator, and Bwog. He was the publisher of the 2010 edition of Inside New York, an annual guidebook to the city for students and young professionals.

Since 2011, he has co-curated and hosted Peculiar Streams, a showcase for NYC-based writers, musicians, comedians, and filmmakers. He is a staff writer at Mediaite, and blogs at SamReisman.com.

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  1. atc333 May 15, 2015

    The problem is that these Radicals want to die, believing that they will soon go to paradise and be served by 100 virgins, giving them what they want. . What is worse is that the cost of appeals, and judicial reviews will mount, further fueling the radical belief that they are bleeding America of its wealth and clogging the system. In the case of Radical Islamists, the possibility of death is not a deterrent. Life in prison with no contact is much more of a punishment.

    1. LadyImpactOhio May 15, 2015

      Yes. Correct. The radicals want to die fast and hope to get the birgins.

    2. LadyImpactOhio May 15, 2015

      I agree 100 % life without parole is more of a punishment.

  2. Kansan May 15, 2015

    Was he not also tried for killing the police officer? He killed his wounded brother as well, by running over him deliberately in order to get away.

    I think the feds may have only executed three people in over 50 years, with about 50 on death row, some for over 20 years. As young as Tsarnev is, he might be one to survive long enough for execution.

  3. pmbalele May 15, 2015

    He and his brother thought it was fun and funny. Even when at their age, I would never delude myself going to blast people to death. We do not know what type of religion that would teach people to kill others because they do not believe in what they believe. Before they put him to sleep, they should find more about these two individuals and why they did so.

  4. _Steve_ May 15, 2015

    Sad, most terrible thing he did. Young and ignorant, responsible for the death and paint of so many,.
    But Hey, so was G.W. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.

    1. LadyImpactOhio May 15, 2015

      Ye let’s blame bush for this. After all the Amtrak derail was too.

  5. paulyz May 15, 2015

    Glad to see justice served for all the pain & death this terrorist caused to Americans. I believe any act of terrorism to Americans should carry the death sentence.

    1. Paul Bass May 15, 2015

      I rarely give you thumbs up, being a yellow dawg, but I have to 100% agree with your statement.

      (I know this is un PC of me, but the little weasel should be given something more painful than lethal injection!)

      1. paulyz May 17, 2015

        Glad to see we can agree as Americans on issues such as these.

  6. Jose Sanchez May 15, 2015

    Kill that terrorist as soon is possible send him with his virgins waiting for him in hell

    1. LadyImpactOhio May 15, 2015

      But according to islam, he will die a martyr . Were on opposite sides but not on this one. I want him to feel the pain of being 21 and living a hell on earth.

    2. LadyImpactOhio May 15, 2015

      You have to understand islam with that statement and you don’t. Giving him deaths will make him an Islamic martyr.

  7. oldtack May 15, 2015

    Giving him Death is giving him what he wants. By death he can be a
    martyr and be blessed by Allah. Life in prison would deny him this “blessing” and the Glory of martyrdom. Life in Prison would have denied him all his “Glory” and the “Blessings of Allah.

    1. jamcrky May 15, 2015

      That’s exactly how I feel……and all the other nutjobs will now try to avenge his martyrdom….

      1. LadyImpactOhio May 15, 2015

        No, he must feel the dearth of not receiving the virgins. That is what he hopes for and should be denied.

    2. nana4gj May 15, 2015

      Whatever. Our system of Justice is not determined by Allah or anyone else. It is based on crime and punishment and the rule of law, and the consequences are determined by the people, as allowed by the rule of law.

      I, for my part, will be relieved when the media exhausts the need for plastering his image in our faces and recounting his story ad nauseum. I prefer to focus on the magnificence of the people of Boston, the survivors, victims, families, first responders, health care facilities, law enforcement, the judicial system, and the community at large for their intelligence, unity, compassion, and dignified conduct, from start to finish.

      1. oldtack May 15, 2015

        I agree with what you are saying except I would have liked to see Life in prison because i think that is worse than death plus It “cheats” these Religion Fanatics from their delusional expectation of being a

        1. nana4gj May 16, 2015

          I, too, agree with you and those who believe a miserable life in solitary confinement, in a maximum federal prison, would have been my preference for him, “neutered”, lost, and nothing more than another name of a terrorist, in total deprivation.

          But, I cannot fault the jury because I have too much respect for them, in this case, as a panel of peers from those in Boston who have been so exemplary in their conduct throughout all of this horribleness. Somehow, I feel he will spend many years in that prison before, and IF, he is ever executed. It’s just unfortunate that we will all have to deal with his notoriety in our faces with each appeal, as the family of the little boy who was killed says, when we would all better off with him locked away and done with forever.

          It’s strange, but in this case, any philosophical debate about the morality of the death penalty carries no weight with me. One reason may be that the facts are so clear, there is no question of his guilt and responsibility, so no question of executing the wrong man. Another being that some crimes are so heinous, death is justifiable. Then again, what rises to the top of the list is “What is best for society?”, in which case I think, locking him away in solitary confinement, as described in these maximum security federal prisons for terrorists, totally deprived, lost, and forgotten, “neutered”, so to speak, would be best. I resent having to spend money to kill him or to house him and afford his appeals for the rest of his life, but, Justice is not cheap.

          Already, talk is about an appeal based on change of venue. I say, forget it. If ever a venue could afford a fair and just trial and sentencing, it would be in Boston, based on the dignified and exemplary conduct of the people of Boston throughout ALL of this.

    3. LadyImpactOhio May 15, 2015

      Yup you are exact. He wants death to be a Muslim martyr. Why I was hoping of life without parole.

  8. dog lover May 15, 2015

    He along with his brother both got what they deserve.

  9. Carolyn1520 May 15, 2015

    I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t exhaust all his appeals. I don’t think he’s religious enough to seek martyrdom.
    Then he’ll still be in the news for far longer than anyone should have to hear about him, especially the families of his victims.
    At least McVeigh waived his appeals.

  10. nana4gj May 15, 2015

    First, I hope this is the last time we see his photo, at least, so prominently displayed.

    Next, I have to say, again, how magnificent the people of Boston have been in their conduct, from the initial response on that tragic day, through the challenges and dangers of the pursuit and capture of these terrorists, during the trial proceedings, and with this deliberation of sentence and final outcome. Their dignity and co-operation, the diligence of survival, the care deeply felt for each other and their community, and the belief in law enforcement and our system of Justice is commendable and inspirational.

    It cannot have been easy for a people who have eliminated the death penalty from their state judicial process to have arrived at this sentence in this federal trial in which the death penalty was an option. But, they did, and I respect their decision. As with the reaction of Bostonians today, I do not celebrate it, but, I understand it, respect it, and accept it, because it was arrived at with intelligent deliberation and not emotional reaction.

    The people of Boston are what I wish all of us could be. They never complained, blamed, railed against, acted out in anger, or divided themselves one from the other. Yes, I am proud of the people of Boston, but, I am more grateful for them.

  11. LadyImpactOhio May 15, 2015

    We’ll now I guess he’s a a Muslim martyr and gets his 72 virgins while he is capable. Depends upon how long appeal process is, could be years.

  12. domenica2 May 16, 2015

    what cruel responses. of course he did a terrible thing – when he was barely grown up, lead by his big brother, probably with the wrong ideas in his head from a twisted education. how can you all wish him death or a terrible life in a miserable cell? why don’t you wish him and all mislead people healing, education, light, a better life? what kind of christians or even humans are you?

    1. Joe T May 16, 2015

      With all due respect to your compassionate emotion for this individual, he particpated in a criminal act where people died. People who DIED by his act, should be living a normal lifestyle today like others. Making excuses for criminal acts like he was involved in is not rational in responsibility with consequence.

      Prisons are filled with persons like him committing murderous acts against others, sans cause. Actually life in prison til death is probably more dire.
      In retrospect, don’t forget the Muslim radical thought process of religious fanaticism against non-Muslims aka infidels aka everyone else who does not believe what they believe in; i.e. Koran.


      IF THEY (Muslims) believe the Islamic printed Qur’an/Koran……and you do NOT……you should be killed or dead as for as they are concerned. 4.89 : They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah’s way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.3.85: And cwhoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.
      (from the Qur’an/Koran!) KEEP BELIEVING THEY ARE PEACEFUL…..

      8.12: When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off (behead) their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. The Qur’an was an oral text throughout the lifetime of Muhammad; it was also a fluid text. The omplete text resided only in the memories of Muhammad and his followers. As he added verses and reorganized the text, his followers would rememorize the text in the light of the additions or edits. This means that the Qur’an was a living text during the lifetime of Muhammad. Certain verses revealed to Muhammad…..
      were later repudiated by him as “satanic” verses revealed not by Gabriel
      but by Satan. These verses were expunged from the text that so many had

      (It’s plain to see Barack Hussein Obama has loyalties to this ideology that he can’t hide. It’s self-evident for many reasons; one of which is that he clearly avoids (refuses) to call the terrorists by their identity of followers of Islamic teachings, proven by the Qur’an (Koran) to be VIOLENT. For Manchurian* Candidate substitute the word Muslim.* This is occurring world wide at a rapid rate, due to verbiage changes by current covert leaders.)

      Whether a Conservative or Liberal the Islamic teaching of the Koran does not
      differentiate! Veritas.

      1. charleo1 May 17, 2015

        When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are about to enter and occupy, he will clear away many nations ahead of you: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These seven nations are all more powerful than you. When the LORD your God hands these nations over to you and you conquer them, you must completely destroy them. Make no treaties with them and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them, and don’t let your daughters and sons marry their sons and daughters. They will lead your young people away from me to worship other gods. Then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and he will destroy you. (Deuteronomy 7:1-4)

  13. Watosh May 16, 2015

    I agree with the death sentence, a respect for life requires that Tsarnaev be executed for the destruction he caused. But did he really get the death sentence? It may be many, many years before the sentence is carried out and this tends to nullify the death sentence. In Tsarnaev’s case he clearly committed the crime, of that there is no question, and he is definitely old enough to be held accountable. There is no reason to allow him appeal after appeal. A death sentence carried out twenty of more years later defeats the sentence. Also for those who believe it is more humane to keep him in prison for the rest of his life under the strict conditions he would be put under I am told, is definitely inhumane, so for those who claim it is morally better to keep him under inhumane conditions, I don’t think that is the morally superior position. Keeping him around for years when we assassinate people for being a suspected threat without a public trial is an indication of just how confused we are.


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