The 12 jurors in the Boston Marathon bombing case sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death by lethal injection.They deliberated for more than 16 hours and over three days to reach the verdict.
Tsarnaev is the first terrorist to be sentenced to death in the post-9/11 era, according to the New York Times.
The case will “automatically be appealed to a higher federal court. Which will begin a series of appeals that could take years to resolve,” according to Eric Levenson of boston.com.
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated, “the ultimate penalty is a fitting punishment.”
There have only been three federal executions since the death penalty was reinstated in 1988.
Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 counts he was charged with from the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombing. Seventeen of those counts made him eligible for the death penalty.
Tsarnaev, who is now 21, pleaded not guilty two years ago when he was charged with planting a homemade “improvised explosive device” — a pressure cooker filled with gunpowder, ball bearings, and nails — near the race’s finish line.
Hoping to take the death penalty off the table, Judy Clarke, Tsarnaev’s defense attorney, sought to cast Tsarnaev as a naive teenager who was radicalized by his older brother, Tamerlan.
“We don’t deny that Jahar fully participated in the events,” Judy Clarke told the jury in her closing arguments. “But if not for Tamerlan, it would not have happened.”
Prosecutors argued that Dzhokhar was his brother’s full and equal partner, as evidenced by the jihadist note Dzhokhar scrawled on the side of a boat in the hours he spent hiding from police.
The note read, in part, “We Muslims are one body. You hurt one, you hurt us all.”
Prosecutors also argued that Tsarnaev showed little remorse for his actions — an argument made stronger by a photo of Tsarnaev giving the middle finger to a surveillance camera in his prison cell.
“This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — unconcerned, unrepentant, and unchanged,” the defense attorney told the jury late last month.