Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Speaks at Sentencing

Dzhohkar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death for the Boston Marathon bombings. From live tweets of reporters Jim Armstrong and Patricia Wen in the courtroom.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev spoke for about 4 minutes. He expressed remorse. "I would like to now apologize to the victims and to the survivors." ..."I am sorry for the lives I have taken....for the suffering I have caused and the terrible damage I have done."

He left no doubt about his guilt:

"I am guilty of the bombing, let there be no lingering question about that."

He thanked his attorneys and said "I cherish their company." He said they have done a lot for his family. His defense attorney, Judy Clarke, told the Court he had tried to settle the case before trial. [More...]

Clarke notes that, before trial, he had offered to settle the case and indicated in that statement that he was remorseful.

(Translation: We offered to plead and accept a life sentence but the Government refused.) Apparently he also submitted a written statement acknowledging guilt as part of his offer to plead guilty.

The judge sentenced him to death and said he would recommend to the Bureau of Prisons that he be designated to Terre Haute. Terre Haute is the location of the feds' death row. The defense had asked for a designation to a prison in New Hampshire. The judge also imposed 19 life terms (on the non-death counts.)

I disagree with this statement from the Judge:

"Whenever your name is mentioned, what will be remembered is the evil you have done. No one will remember your teachers were fond of you."

I will remember his teachers were fond of him. I will also remember the other positive things the defense brought out about him.

I will always have a doubt about the fairness of the sentencing verdict because the trial should not have taken place in Boston.

Every individual is more than the sum of his misdeeds. He was 19 years old when the crime happened. He had no prior record. He can no longer be influenced by his deceased brother, without whom these crimes would not have happened.

Life in prison would have been sufficient punishment. Life is prison is a death sentence: the only way out is in a pine box.

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  • Display: Sort:
    The curtain falls, a veil is lifted; (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 04:58:31 PM EST
    finally is a child revealed.

    I probably won't remember his name (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by CST on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 05:19:11 PM EST
    Doesn't hurt that his name is hard to remember.

    But I will remember the astounding response from the Boston medical community that day which prevented what could easily have been a much higher death count.  I was reminded of it again a few days ago while walking through the medical district to see my new nephew, just how lucky we were to have those incredible resources.  I truly think that if it had happened anywhere else it would have been much worse.

    If I do think of Tsarnaev - the person, I'll think of the stain on the community that was caused when we sentenced him to death.  And the pain of the victims that no amount of apologizing can remove.

    Your voice on this (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 05:57:09 PM EST
    was an important one.  As a local.  It echoed what I heard from other people I know there

    Killing him won't bring anyone back.  It won't stop the next one.   At this point it's about us as much as him.


    He's (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 05:13:44 PM EST

    I would prefer life without parole as well (none / 0) (#4)
    by nyjets on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 05:24:29 PM EST
    'Every individual is more than the sum of his misdeeds. '
    That is incorrect. A person is the sum of his misdeeds.

    Well, then, speaking for myself only, ... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 03:01:55 AM EST
    ... I'd be very hesitant to have someone else apply that highly subjective standard to me. For that which I think to be benign, such as my being pro-choice and pro-LGBT, others consider to be a mortal sin and would tally accordingly.

    Be careful what you wish for, because you just my get it -- to your ultimate and infinite regret.



    Really? (none / 0) (#5)
    by sj on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 05:56:39 PM EST
    Then where do his good deeds fit in?

    I was wondering that (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 05:57:58 PM EST
    i would hat to think I am the sum of my misdeeds

    Compared to what he did (none / 0) (#8)
    by nyjets on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 06:02:45 PM EST
    Compared to what he did with the bombing, his good deeds become irrelevant. Any good he might do is tainted by the bombing he did.

    He didn't give himself a chance to (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 06:37:25 PM EST
    do any good deeds.  For most of us that requires a lifetime, a lifetime he won't have.

    and some people who do worse (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Palli on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 07:49:04 PM EST
    live among us, with bragging rights

    On the contrary (none / 0) (#18)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 08:09:52 AM EST
    Everyone has a lifetime.

    no one's good deeds are irrelevant (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by sj on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 02:44:41 AM EST

    The full text of his statement (none / 0) (#10)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 07:23:33 PM EST
    is here, in case digging it out of the tweets didn't work for you.

    I wonder if the results of the (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 07:54:21 PM EST
    coming Supreme Court lethal injection case might effect the enforcement of his sentence.

    I doubt this one will ever be enforced (none / 0) (#14)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 09:20:12 PM EST
    I Would Love to Know (none / 0) (#13)
    by RickyJim on Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 08:56:11 PM EST
    1. what really happened during the plea bargaining.
    (US Attorney Carmen) Ortiz also countered claims by Judy Clarke, Tsarnaev's lead defense attorney, that he'd offered to plead guilty to the bombing and write a letter of apology, but was rebuffed by the government.

    Ortiz said Clarke's description of the discussions "was not completely accurate," and that the proposal "wasn't an apology."

     Link.  I am not clear about the defense strategy to plead not guilty.  Wouldn't there still have been a penalty jury trial if they had done so - and the jury wouldn't have had to sit through the first trial caused by a plea that seemed to them ridiculous?

    2.  Some commentators like Masha Gessen have complained that we still don't know who made or helped the brothers make the bombs (the FBI admitted that on the stand).  In a Nova program about the bombing, an expert expressed amazement that an amateur could make, on their first try, such bombs that worked.  And exactly what Tamerlan's wife knew is another mystery.  Where did they store the bombs so she did not see them?  I wonder if an offer to have Dzhokhar reveal what he knew about that figured in the plea bargaining.

    Goodbye (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 08:01:22 AM EST
    Good luck.  Don't want to hear from or about him again.