Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been found guilty to 30 counts of charges – 17 of which punishable by death penalty. The next phase will be the sentencing, where jurors will decide whether he will face death or life imprisonment.
Among the charges, he was found guilty of using a weapon of mass destruction, killing Krystle Campbell, 29, a restaurant manager, and Lingzi Lu, 23, a Chinese exchange student, and the fatal shooting of Massachusetts of Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, 26.
Prosecutors described Tsarnaev as a true believer of radical and violent jihad after watching a series of surveillance footage of the 2013 Boston Marathon. The footage totaled almost 4,000 hours.
“These were deliberate choices, these were political choices. ‘An eye for eye. You kill us, we kill you.’ That’s what he said and that’s what he did,” Aloke Chakravarty, an assistant United States attorney, told court as quoted by The New York Times.
“This was a cold, calculated terrorist act. This was intentional. It was bloodthirsty. It was to make a point. It was to tell America that ‘We will not be terrorized by you anymore — we will terrorize you,’” Chakravarty said.
Tsarnaev is said to have shown no emotions as verdict was being read. He just looked straight ahead with hands cupping his chin. However, according to CNN Alexandra Field, Tsarnaev fidgeted halfway through the reading.
halfway thru reading of counts #Tsarnaev is fidgeting, rubbing his chin, scratching the back of his head, stilll not looking at the jury
— Alexandra Field (@AFieldCNN) April 8, 2015
Tsarnaev’s mother, Zubeidat, declared that Americans are the real terrorists after his son was found guilty of the crimes. In a post seen by the Vocativ through Russian social media, Zubeidat described her son as the “best of the best.”
“I will never forget it. May god bless those who helped my son. The terrorists here are the Americans and it’s known to everyone. My son is the best of the best,” the post read, according to the Vocativ.
Boston Marathon Bombing Victims
The victims of the Boston Marathon bombing were overwhelmed with mixed emotions. They were grateful for the verdict and justice but were one in saying that it is not a reason for rejoicing. All victims and families present during the reading were silent even after the announcement of the verdict.
“Obviously we are grateful for the outcome today. It’s not a happy occasion, but it’s something that we can put one more step behind us. I don’t know what justice is. I am grateful to have him off the street. I’m grateful to show that everyone in the world that this is not tolerated, this is not how we behave,” bombing survivor Karen Brassard said as quoted by CNN.
“Nothing can ever replace the lives that were lost or changed forever. But at least there is some relief in knowing that justice is served and responsibility will be taken,” said Jeff Bauman, who lost legs in the bombing.
Denise Richard, mother of Martin, the 8-year-old killed in the bombing, silently wiped tears from both eyes after the verdict was read.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Death or No Death?
During the manhunt that followed to what was dubbed as the worst terrorist attack against Americans since the Sept 11 attack, Tsarnaev hid inside a boat to avoid the helicopters searching for him. On the walls of the boat, he wrote a manifesto of which the court perceived as the most tangible evidence to his hate towards America.
“I am jealous of my brother who has received the reward of (paradise.) … I do not mourn because his soul is very much alive. God has a plan for each person. Mine was to hide in this boat and shed some light on our actions…”
“The U.S. government is killing our innocent civilians, but most of you already know that. As a Muslim, I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished. We Muslims are one body. You hurt one, you hurt us all.”
“Know that you are fighting men who look into the barrel of your gun and see heaven. Now, how can you compete with that? We are promised victory and we will surely get it. Now I don’t like killing innocent people. It is forbidden in Islam. But due to (bullet hole), it is allowed.”
“Stop killing our people and we will stop.”
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