Tsarnaev convicted on all 30 counts in Boston Marathon bombing trial
After only 11 hours of deliberations, jurors in the Boston Marathon bombing trial convicted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of all 30 counts lodged against the 21-year-old bomber, including use of a weapon of mass destruction — a charge that carries the death penalty. The trial lasted less than two months and brought a swift conclusion to what has been a long process of healing in the city of Boston.
Families of those killed, injured, and maimed sat in silence during the announcement of the verdict, while Tsarnaev showed no emotion but reportedly fidgeted in his seat. The defense failed to convince any single juror that Tsarnaev was a naïve college student following the directions of his older, deeply radicalized brother, Tamerlan, whose bullet-ridden body the younger Tsarnaev dragged through the streets of Watertown, Mass. during the manhunt.
Among the evidence used to convict Tsarnaev, the messages Tsarnaev scribbled on the inside of a Watertown boat where he hid before his capture were particularly damning. Jurors visited the boat during the trial and read the words that Tsarnaev may have believed would be his last, including the line: “Stop killing our people, and we will stop.”
Unlike the sensationalized trials we’re accustomed to in the United States, where the guilty party pleads his innocence and maintains it to his grave, Tsarnaev never denied his role in the bombing but claimed he was under the influence of his brother. Ultimately, it was impossible to convince a jury that a young man who didn’t want to go along with murder could casually stroll through a Whole Foods market in Cambridge and purchase a container of milk after murdering three people, maiming children, and terrorizing a city and a nation.
Jurors will now decide whether to hand down a death sentence or a term of life in prison. For the families of the victims, neither is equal to justice. For the victims themselves, there is no returning to a time where monsters existed only in movies.
Do you believe that Tsarnaev deserves the death penalty for his role in the Boston Marathon Bombing? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, or tweet me @nataliepetitto.