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Guilty verdict announced for Boston Bomber

By Olivia Rizzo
Web Editor

The federal courthouse in Boston where the trial takes place (AP Photo).
The federal courthouse in Boston where the trial takes place (AP Photo).

Dzhokar Tsarnaev was found guilty of all 30 counts he was charged with in relation to the Boston Marathon bombing on Wednesday, April 8. It took 26 minutes for the verdict to be read in its entirety, according to CNN.

The list of guilty charges included: using weapons of mass destruction, bombing a place of public use, conspiracy and aiding and abetting.

During the trial the jury was presented with images of bombs exploding and gruesome injuries. They heard testimony from witnesses who told stories of how people tended to the dying and severely injured.

“I hope today’s verdict provides a small amount of closure for the survivors, families and all impacted by the violent and tragic events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh according to the New York Times.

Although a verdict has been decided, a second phase is still left up to consideration, determining whether Tsarnaev will receive the death penalty or spend the rest of his life in prison.

According to the Times, Massachusetts abolished capital punishment in 1984 and has not executed anyone since 1947. Tsarnaev potentially faces the death penalty because he has been convicted of several federal crimes.

The prosecution will argue he should be executed due to the heinous and cruel nature of his crimes, that he betrayed the United States after he became a citizen and has expressed no remorse.

It is theorized that the defense will claim Tsarnaev was being manipulated by his older brother Tamerlan. They will also likely stress that Tsarnaev was only 19 at the time and had no prior criminal record in order to try and dissuade the use of the death penalty.

As each guilty verdict was read, Tsarnaev stood with little expression across his face, his arms folded in front of him as “guilty” was repeated over and over again. The courtroom was packed with survivors, witnesses and their families as they gathered to hear the outcome of the trial.

“We’re obviously grateful for the outcome today,” said Karen Brassard, a survivor of tragic injuries from the blast. She felt the verdict put the bombing one more step behind her although it was not something that one could ever be over, according to the Times.

It was expected that Tsarnaev would be found guilty of most charges, his lawyers admitted that he had been involved in the bombing. Their defense was minimal only calling four witnesses who testified for five hours while the government called 92 witnesses over 15 days.

Despite the lack of defense, it still seemed possible for Tsarnaev to be acquitted of some of the lesser counts he was charged with. However, the jury came back with their decision after a day and a half of deliberation with guilty on every charge and related question, making the challenge greater for the defense lawyers in the next phase.

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