Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who helped set off two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, killing three and injuring hundreds, has been sentenced to death by lethan injection, the The Washington Post reports. A jury deliberated for 14 and a half hours before unanimously convicting Tsarnaev, despite his defense team's attempt to paint him as an innocent swayed by the influence of his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the alleged masterminded of the attacks who was killed in a shootout with police.
The Russian national, 21, was awarded citizenship just months before he committed the terrorist act — considered the worst on U.S. soil since 9/11.
“The system worked,” Peter White, a former federal prosecutor, tells Bloomberg. “An unpopular and unsympathetic defendant was afforded excellent, zealous representation. And the jury sent a message that terrorism on our shores will be subject to the highest possible penalty.”
Interestingly, Massachussets, where Dzhokhar's trial was held, doesn't have the death penalty, but the defendant was eligible for it because the trial was under federal jurisdiction. Tsarnaev's formal sentencing hearing will take place this summer, during which time he will have a chance to launch an appeal. That process, sources close to the case explain, could take up to a decade, though Tsarnaev will remain in prison throughout it.
The Tsarnaev brothers reportedly carried out the attack to avenge the death of Muslims.
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