Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who along with his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev was responsible behind the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, broke his two-year silence and apologized to the victims for the atrocity he had caused them.
The apology came in a packed federal courtroom attended by several as the judge announced his death sentence.
Dzhokhar said in his apology, “If there is any lingering doubt … I did it, along with my brother. I ask Allah to have mercy on me, my brother and my family.”
Although he said he felt regretful about the attack, he neither looked at any of his victims nor addressed them by their names which he had gotten to know over the course of the trial.
He said, “Now, I am sorry for the lives that I’ve taken, for the suffering that I’ve caused you, for the damage that I’ve done. Irreparable damage.
“Allah said in the Quran that no soul is burdened with more than it can bear, and you told us just how unbearable it was, how horrendous it was, this thing I put you through. I also wish that far more people had a chance to get up there, but I took them from you.”
“And I prayed for Allah to bestow his mercy upon the deceased, those affected in the bombing and their families. I pray for your relief, for your healing, for your well-being, for your strength.”
Dzhokhar’s apology was met with mixed reactions from the survivors. Two survivors said they felt Dzhokhar’s apology was “insincere,” while one said he “forgives” Dzhokhar.
According to ABC News, survivor Henry Borgard said, “I was actually really happy that he made the statement.” Borgard further said that he was “a victim of circumstance,” as he was on his way home when the bombs denoted.
He added, “I have forgiven him. I hope, because I still do have faith in humanity, including in him, I hope that his words were genuine.”
Lynn Julian – another survivor who had sustained traumatic brain injury, permanent hearing loss in both of her ears, a back injury and PTSD – was a block away from the finish line when the explosion occurred.
She said, “He threw in an apology to the survivors that seemed insincere and just thrown in because he was supposed to. I regret having ever wanting to hear him speak because what he said showed no remorse, no regret, no empathy for what he’s done to our lives.”
According to CNN, Judge George O’Toole said that it was a “monstrous deception” on Dzhokhar’s part to execute the attacks.
Judge O’Toole said, “Whenever your name is mentioned, what will be remembered is the evil you have done. No one will remember that your teachers were fond of you. No one will mention that your friends found you funny and fun to be with. No one will say you were a talented athlete or that you displayed compassion in being a Best Buddy or that you showed more respect to your women friends than your male peers did.
“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.”
According to Boston Herald, in May, the jury had given a death sentence to Dzhokhar for setting off two pressure cooker bombs with his brother Tamerlan. The brothers were also charged with killing MIT police officer Sean Collier in an intense manhunt in the ensuing days. While Tamerlan was killed during the manhunt, Dzhokhar was found hiding in a dry-locked boat in a Boston suburb and was subsequently arrest.
The blasts had killed three people and injured 260 others.
Since September 11, 2001, attacks, Dzhokhar’s is the first federal terrorism case where the accused has been condemned to death.
You might also be interested in: Dick Van Patten, Goofy Father From “Enough Is Enough,” Dies At 86