Boston Bomber sentenced to death

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
Injection: Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death for the attack
Injection: Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death for the attack

A jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death Friday for the Boston Marathon bombing, sweeping aside pleas that he was just a "kid" who fell under the influence of his fanatical older brother.

Tsarnaev, 21, stood with his hands folded, his head slightly bowed, upon learning his fate, decided after 14 hours of deliberations over three days. It was the most closely watched terrorism trial in the U.S. since the Oklahoma City bombing case two decades ago.

The decision sets the stage for what could be the nation's first execution of a terrorist in the post-9/11 era, though the case is likely to go through years of appeals. The execution would be carried out by lethal injection.

"Now he will go away and we will be able to move on. Justice. In his own words, 'an eye for an eye,'" said bombing victim Sydney Corcoran, who nearly bled to death and whose mother lost both legs.

The 12-member federal jury had to be unanimous for Tsarnaev to get the death penalty. Otherwise, he would have automatically received a sentence of life in prison without parole.

Tsarnaev's father, Anzor Tsarnaev, let out a deep moan upon hearing the news and hung up.

Tsarnaev's lawyers had no comment as they left the courtroom.

In a statement, Attorney General Loretta Lynch called the bombing a "cowardly attack" and added: "The ultimate penalty is a fitting punishment for this horrific crime, and we hope that the completion of this prosecution will bring some measure of closure to the victims and their families."

Three people were killed and more than 260 wounded when two pressure-cooker bombs packed with shrapnel exploded near the finish line on April 15, 2013.

The former college student was convicted last month of all 30 federal charges against him, including use of a weapon of mass destruction and the killing of an MIT police officer during the Tsarnaev brothers' getaway attempt. Seventeen of those charges carried the possibility of the death penalty.

Tsarnaev's chief lawyer, death penalty specialist Judy Clarke, admitted at the very start of the trial that he participated in the bombings, bluntly telling the jury: "It was him."

Tsarnaev showed no reaction as the jury sentenced him. His head was down slightly and his hands were folded in front of him as the sentence was handed down.

The defence asked that the jury be polled, and each confirmed that the verdict represented his or her decision.