‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken’ – Boston bomber apologizes

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is pictured in this handout photo presented as evidence by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, Massachusetts on March 23, 2015. Tsarnaev was heavily influenced by al Qaeda literature and lectures, some of which was found on his laptop, a counterterrorism expert testified at his trial on March 23, 2015. REUTERS/U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston/Handout via Reuters FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

BOSTON, U.S – Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Wednesday apologized for the deadly 2013 attack at a hearing, and a U.S. judge formally sentenced him to death for killing four people and injuring 264 in the bombing and its aftermath.

“I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering that I have caused you, for the damage I have done, irreparable damage,” Tsarnaev, 21, told a courtroom packed with parents of some of the dead and some of those wounded on April 15, 2013.

It was the first time that Tsarnaev, who did not speak in his own defense during his trial, had addressed the court.

“In case there is any doubt, I am guilty of this attack, along with my brother,” Tsarnaev said, standing at the defense table.

Tsarnaev had been found guilty killing three people and injuring 264 in the bombing near the finish line of the world-renowned race, as well as fatally shooting a police officer three days later. The same federal jury that convicted him in April voted for the death penalty in May.

The bombing was one of the highest-profile attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

“As long as your name is mentioned, what will be remembered is the evil you’ve done,” U.S. District Judge George O’Toole told Tsarnaev before sentencing him to death by lethal injection. “What will be remembered is that you murdered and maimed innocent people and that you did it willfully and intentionally. You did it on purpose.”

Tsarnaev spoke after two dozen people, including those who lost limbs and loved ones in the bombing, spoke of the attack’s heavy toll on their lives.

Rebekah Gregory, who lost her left leg on that blood-soaked April day, addressed Tsarnaev directly.

“Terrorists like you do two things in this world. One, they create mass destruction, but the second is quite interesting,” Gregory said. “Because do you know what mass destruction really does? It brings people together. We are Boston strong and we are America strong, and choosing to mess with us was a terrible idea.

“How’s that for your victim impact statement?”


Tsarnaev’s trial brought back some of Boston’s darkest living memories. Jurors saw videos of the bombs’ blinding flashes and the chaotic aftermath as emergency workers and spectators rushed to aid the wounded, many of whom lost legs.

Killed in the bombing were Martin Richard, 8, Chinese exchange student Lingzi Lu, 26, and restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, 29. Three days later, Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, shot dead Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, 26.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following a gunfight with police that ended when Dzhokhar ran him over with a car.

During the trial, federal prosecutors described the ethnic Chechen brothers as adherents of al Qaeda’s militant Islamist ideology who wanted to “punish America” with the attack on the world-renowned race.

Tsarnaev’s attorneys admitted their client had played a role in the attack but tried to portray him as the junior partner in a scheme hatched and driven by his older brother. The Tsarnaev family came to the United States from Russia a decade before the attack.

Even after the sentencing, the legal wrangling over Tsarnaev’s fate could play out for years, if not decades. Just three of the 74 people sentenced to death in the United States for federal crimes since 1998 have been executed.

Krystle Campbell’s mother, Patricia, called Tsarnaev’s actions “despicable.”

“You went down the wrong road,” Campbell said. “I know life is hard, but the choices you made were despicable and what you did to my daughter was disgusting.”

Tsarnaev asked forgiveness for himself and his dead brother.

“I ask Allah to have mercy upon me, my brother and my family,” Tsarnaev said. “I ask Allah to bestow his mercy upon those who are here today.”

Tsarnaev, who had been criticized by victims and Boston news media for his diffident, passive posture during his trial, said he had been moved by the months of testimony about the bombing’s toll.

“You told me how horrendous this was, this burden that I put you through,” Tsarnaev said. Referring to the two dozen people who spoke on Wednesday, he said, “I wish that four more people had a chance to get up there, but I took them from you.”

Related Posts
Cord leader Raila Odinga (left) with Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi at a political rally in Laikipia on December 6, 2016. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI
Kenya’s 2017 presidential election could be a two-horse race if the ongoing talks among opposition politicians to rally behind one candidate against President Uhuru Kenyatta bear fruit. Opposition politicians announced that ...
‘I’m still alive’: Journalist to mafia after 10 years under guard
"Gommorah" writer Roberto Saviano on Monday marked 10 years living under police protection by telling the mafia bosses who want him dead: "I'm still alive, you did not succeed." The award-winning ...
Zuma assured AU al-Bashir would not be arrested – Mugabe
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma gave the African Union summit assurances that Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir would not be arrested, Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe has said. Responding to questions by journalists ...
Protests turn violent in Congo capital, at least eight dead
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Congolese police and anti-government protesters clashed in the capital Kinshasa on Monday, killing at least eight people including three policemen, during a march against President Joseph Kabila's ...
Museveni “not sick and not even to die soon”
KAMPALA, Uganda - After three months of silence, 71-year-old Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has finally dispelled rumours that he is "sick and about to die". Responding to questions by the press ...
Malema threatens to unleash violence on Jacob Zuma
Johannesburg – EFF leader Julius Malema says President Jacob Zuma failed to defend the Constitution and should be recalled. “He failed to uphold and defend the Constitution and that on its ...
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures as she speaks during a press conference held at the end of a Eurozone summit at the Justus Lipsius building, EU headquarters in Brussels, on October 27, 2011. The eurozone sealed a grand deal to overcome its festering debt crisis today when banks agreed to take a 50 percent loss on Greek debt. Eurozone officials announced the deal following tough talks in Brussels between leaders of the eurozone and the Institute of International Finance banking lobby to force the private sector to share the pain of Greece's debt burden.       AFP PHOTO/ JOHN THYS (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON - German leaders stepped up the pressure on Britain's incoming prime minister Theresa May on Tuesday by demanding she swiftly spell out when she will launch divorce proceedings with ...
Museveni’s son denies succession claims
The son of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, has rejected claims that he plans to succeed his father, reports said on Thursday. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, speaking on Wednesday ...
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (L), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (C) and U.S. President Barack Obama walk together at the National Gallery of Canada at the start of the North American Leaders' Summit in Ottawa, Canada June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
OTTAWA  - Canada, the United States and Mexico on Wednesday vowed to deepen their economic ties, pushing back against anti-free-trade sentiment that has shifted political debate in the United States ...
Buhari returns to Nigeria after medical treatment
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari arrived back in the capital Abuja on Sunday after a nearly two-week stay in Britain where he had treatment for an ear infection ...
Kenya opposition leaders inch towards ‘super alliance’
‘I’m still alive’: Journalist to mafia after 10
Zuma assured AU al-Bashir would not be arrested
Protests turn violent in Congo capital, at least
Museveni “not sick and not even to die
Malema threatens to unleash violence on Jacob Zuma
German leaders demand Brexit clarity from May
Museveni’s son denies succession claims
As Europe drifts apart, North America huddles up
Buhari returns to Nigeria after medical treatment

Arts & Entertainment