Full text of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Statement

Here is the full text of Dzhokhar's statement at his death penalty trial.

THE DEFENDANT : Thank you, your Honor, for giving me an opportunity to speak. I would like to begin in the name of Allah, the exalted and glorious, the most gracious, the most merciful, "Allah" among the most beautiful names. Any act that does not begin in the name of God is separate from goodness.

This is the blessed month of Ramadan, and it is the month of mercy from Allah to his creation, a month to ask forgiveness of Allah and of his creation, a month to express gratitude to Allah and to his creation. It's the month of reconciliation, a month of patience, a month during which hearts change. Indeed, a month of many blessings.


The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said if you have not thanked the people, you have not thanked God. So I would like to first thank my attorneys, those who sit at this table, the table behind me, and many more behind the scenes. They have done much good for me, for my family. They made my life the last two years very easy. I cherish their company. They're lovely companions. I thank you.

I would like to thank those who took time out of daily lives to come and testify on my behalf despite the pressure. I'd like to thank the jury for their service, and the Court. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said that if you do not -- if you are not merciful to Allah's creation, Allah will not be merciful to you, so I'd like to now apologize to the victims, to the survivors.

Immediately after the bombing, which I am guilty of -- if there's any lingering doubt about that, let there be no more. I did do it along with my brother -- I learned of some of the victims. I learned their names, their faces, their age. And throughout this trial more of those victims were given names, more of those victims had faces, and they had burdened souls.

Now, all those who got up on that witness stand and that podium related to us -- to me -- I was listening -- the suffering that was and the hardship that still is, with strength and with patience and with dignity. Now, Allah says in the Qur'an 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. And I know that you kept that much. I know that there isn't enough time in the day for you to have related to us everything. I also wish that far more people had a chance to get up there, but I took them from you.

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. Now, I am a Muslim. My religion is Islam. The God I worship, besides whom there is no other God, is Allah. And I ask Allah to have mercy upon me and my brother and my family. I ask Allah to bestow his mercy upon those present here today. And Allah knows best those deserving of his mercy. And I ask Allah to have mercy upon the ummah of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Amin. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Thank you.

< Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Speaks at Sentencing | Thursday Open Thread >
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    There's a shred of goodness... (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 08:21:00 AM EST
    in there somewhere, in between all the god damn Allahs.  It saddens me we're gonna kill him, and not give that shred a chance to spread.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#3)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 09:09:21 AM EST
    All the Allahs seem to mitigate any sense of sorrow that he is claiming to experience.

    Well indoctrinated... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 09:13:42 AM EST
    by mother and brother...kid hardly had a chance.

    That's compassionate (none / 0) (#6)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 09:50:59 AM EST
    of you, but I kinda think that he had a choice.

    If we follow the "no chance" line, we have to apply it to all of the freaky torturers at abu ghraib, all the gents giving unwelcome baths at the CIA blackholes, all the folks who say the devil made them do it, the guy who was possessed by the confederate flag... The guy who dropped the atomic bomb...

    I'm willing to entertain the notion that anyone in the military doing what they were told to do, even if they might sense somewhere that it is not quite the right thing to do, should receive some compassion...

    I suppose I would say that I'm conflicted about dispensing compassion when it comes to this kind of random slaughter of innocent people.

    The kid would have had to know, somewhere, that this ain't right.

    On the other hand, we have been dispensing quite a bit of random slaughter in the Allah part of the world for decades.

    I guess my final analysis is that I am angry at the whole ongoing mess - and to the extent that this kid was caught up in it...

    But, ultimately, "sorry" doesn't cut it for me.


    I get where you're coming from... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 09:57:30 AM EST
    "oops, my bad" doesn't cut it when you set off a bomb to indiscriminately kill innocent people.  But it's better than "no regrets", I sense at least some regret for his unspeakable actions in his statement, I could be wrong.  

    And it's true we all are indoctrinated, but all indoctrination is not equal.  I was indoctrinated quite well (thanks mom & dad!), others aren't so lucky.  I might argue this kid's mind and soul was poisoned at a younger age, and to a greater extent, than your average 18-25 year old US military or CIA recruit.



    To pursue (none / 0) (#8)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 10:35:52 AM EST
    this a wee bit more, if you don't mind...

    I might argue this kid's mind and soul was poisoned at a younger age, and to a greater extent, than your average 18-25 year old US military or CIA recruit.

    OK. What about GWBush?
    Poisoned from day one - with a fascist grandfather and a thug like GHWB as a father - the prig who coined military action in Kuwait ("liberation of Kuwait" my aunt fanny)  "kicking azz".

    What chance did poor little Georgie have?

    And yet, I would rather see him condemned to the eternal fiery furnace than extend the olive branch of compassion.

    I really don't know.

    Obviously we need some kind of education in these matters.
    Christianity was so corrupted as to sanction sh-t like the inquisition and the crusades.

    To really stretch a point...
    There's this about Adolf...

    The mass killings that he later perpetrated stemmed in part from a desperate loathing of his own submissive weakness, and the humiliations of being beaten by a sadistic father.

    I'm left with a generalized fk-em-all.


    Good food for thought... (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 11:18:00 AM EST
    of course I don't mind!

    I guess indoctrination explanation for the terrible things people do only goes so far.  The Boston Bomber never got out from under the wing of his indoctrinators for a chance to learn better, G-Dub had that opportunity and squandered it.

    As for f8ck 'em all, the allure of that philosophy is strong, to be sure, but where do you go from there?  I have to believe people can change, and people can be redeemed...there's even time for G-Dub.  It may be rare, but that's part of what makes it so amazingly beautiful when it happens...when a person raised in the worst possible circumstances overcomes to become a good person having a positive effect on other people, breaking the chain...that's one of humanities miracles.  I like to think society can help make those miracles happen, and would be willing to accept certain risks and shun certain base instincts in that noble pursuit.

    Shorter version..as Tug McGraw said, "ya gotta believe!".  Otherwise, what's the point.


    not true (none / 0) (#11)
    by CST on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 11:34:10 AM EST
    He went Cambridge Ringe and Latin and UMass Dartmouth - where he lived in the dorms away from his family.  He was exposed to plenty of other ideas/people.

    Stand corrected... (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 11:38:26 AM EST
    though the deconstruction of indoctrination might take a little longer than a year or two.  And perhaps his brother held particularly strong sway compared to your average older sibling.

    I could never get my little brother to heed my indoctrination for sh*t! ;)


    I guess (none / 0) (#15)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 07:20:20 PM EST
    I'm left with the sentiment that somewhere in everybody's mind is the notion that it is not quite right to kill the innocent.

    What I am left with is that there is a cycle of violence. We against the Allahs, and then the Allahs against us - and back and forth.

    Same with the Israelis and the Palestinians. The UN says they both committed crimes against humanity in their last go 'round.

    And - ultimately, I think about the incineration of 150,000 innocent Japanese on their way to work.

    Once the fury and frenzy takes over, people do irrational and evil acts.

    I wish we had some good leadership somewhere - from someone - anyone - to defuse this idiotic cycle before it escalates us into oblivion.


    Oh, I think he'll have many years, (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 11:19:01 AM EST
    decades maybe, to spread his shred.

    Too true... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 11:34:14 AM EST
    but I would think being condemned to death alone would be a hinderance in any attempt to learn all life is precious.  otoh, lwop in Supermax probably is too, maybe more of a hinderance. I tend to think death is more merciful.  

    I lean towards life with at least a slim chance of the possibility of parole being the severest punishment we should dole out as a society. Certainly not easy questions...


    It may be important (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 11:39:55 AM EST
    to many, especially the families and loved ones of the dead and the severely maimed, for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to give a full and sorrowful apology for his murderous terrorism.   It may well be that Tsarnaev considers himself a soldier to his cause and his "regrets" are that of a soldier--contrition in the context of his duty and his Allah.  

    However, our criminal justice system is most important.  A jury found him guilty and punishment for his crimes has been determined (the death penalty).  The most important part of Tsarnaev's comments, for me, was that he admitted his guilt.

    The Way it Strikes Me (none / 0) (#2)
    by RickyJim on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 08:34:00 AM EST
    is the same as how I read the screed he wrote in the boat.  Something like, "I sympathize with all your suffering but I still think what I did was right".  I would be more sympathetic to him if he said something like, "I know now that Muslims kill far more Muslims than non Muslims do so it made no sense to get even at the Boston Marathon".

    no (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by CST on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 09:32:53 AM EST
    It should not be about muslims vs. non-muslims.  That's what gets us into this whole mess.  It's about all human beings being worthy of life, and IMO, that sounds like what he's saying.  Of course it's too late.

    A decent apology. Seemed sincere (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jack203 on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 09:30:21 PM EST
    Most main stream news articles seem to imply it was horrendous.

    According to CNN, he's already been moved, (none / 0) (#17)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 10:17:42 PM EST