Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon Bomber was sentenced to death by the jury, today and social media site, Twitter erupt. The 21-year-old, along with his older brother Tamerlan, 26, set off the bombs at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Tsaernev was first arrested on April 19 following a large manhunt. The brothers’ two homemade bombs killed 3 people and injured more than 240. Seventeen people lost at least one leg in the blast and of the injured, many suffered life-altering wounds. The bombs were pressure cookers loaded with nails, BBs and gunpowder.
He was convicted on 30 charges, 17 of which carry the death penalty. He was also convicted of a conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. Tsaernev’s attorney, Judy Clarke, is a known opponent of the death penalty and said that she will appeal the verdict. She had been trying to convince the jurors that Tsaernev, who had been 19 at the time, had been influenced by his older brother. The defense also presented testimony from his former classmates, friends and teachers from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth stating that Tsaernev had a gentle nature and was a friendly person.
The 12 member jury, though, was unable to understand why he carried out the Boston Marathon bombings. They rejected the argument about the older brother’s influence and said that Tsaernev had shown no remorse for his actions.
Post 9/11, this was the first death sentence handed out to a terrorist by a federal jury. The trial lasted 59 court days and the jury took 14 hours to reach their decision. The jury had to be unanimous in their decision for the death penalty and were asked to use their internal moral compass. Had even a single jury member not agreed, Tsaernev would have received a life in prison sentence.
Twitter, meanwhile, is ripe with suggestions for what should or should not be done to the Bostom Marathon bomber. Right On, Patriots felt that Tsaernev had shown no remorse and the sentence was apt.
— Right On, Patriots! (@marypatriott) May 15, 2015
Juliette Kayyem, another user feels that it was a victory for the justice system.
It's worth saying over and over, regardless of sentencing. . . civilian courts can handle terrorism trials. Our ideals won. #BostonMarathon
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) May 15, 2015
Shoepanopoulos also agreed with the sentiments and said that there was no way that Tsaernev was innocent.
I don't recall the facts of the case, but Tsaernev could have argued "My brother handed me the thing. He said it was filled with confetti."
— Shoepanopoulos (@theshoebart) May 15, 2015
Cooper McDevitt, though felt that other extremists or terrorists will consider Tsaernev a martyr and follow him instead.
upset about the tsaernev ruling. he's going to die a martyr now & probably incite others rather than be a nobody in prison.
— Cooper McDevitt (@CooperMcDevitt) May 15, 2015
Older Tweets show various suggestions for how the death penalty should actually be carried out. John Sartucci and J.T. Dudenhoffer had creative ways to do that.
I feel that Tsaernev should be given: death penalty by firing squad and each survivor should be allowed to take a spot on the firing squad
— John Sartucci (@John_Sartucci) July 10, 2013
Since he loves pressure cookers so much, maybe we can make a giant pressure cooker to execute Dzhokhar Tsaernev
— J.T. Dudenhoffer (@jt_dudenhoffer) April 23, 2015
The sentence will be formally imposed at a later date by U.S. Federal District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. While Tsaernev did not take the stand at his trial, he would be allowed to speak at a hearing where the Boston Marathon bombing victims will also be present. They too would get a chance to address the court.
The New York Times: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Gets Death Penalty in Boston Marathon Bombing
CNN: Boston Marathon bomber sentenced to death
Photo Courtesy of Vjeran Pavic’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Photo of Marathon Memorial Courtesy of DebatParlinLibrary’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License