Tsarnaev sentenced to death for Boston marathon bombing
The jury consisted of seven women and five men, and this marks the first time that a federal jury has sentenced a terrorist to death in the post-Sept. 11 era. Several juror members were reportedly crying as the sentencing came down. Tsarnaev displayed no signs of emotion.
The 12 jurors had to agree unanimously in order for Tsarnaev to receive the death penalty, otherwise he would have automatically received life in prison without praole. The execution will be carried out through lethal injection, but the sentence is likely to go through years of appeals.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty last month of all 30 counts, including murder and the use of a weapon of mass destruction. Seventeen of those charges carried the possibility of the death penalty. Defense attorneys took a surprising route, essentially admitting Tsarnaev's guilt in the Boston Marathon bombing"It was him," Judy Clarke, Tsarnaev's attorney, said during her opening remarks.
Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion.
In the face of overwhelming evidence of his involvement in the bombing, the strategy of the defense was to try to spare Tsarnaev the death penalty. They argued that Dzhokhar had been heavily influenced by his older brother, Tamerlan, and that the elder brother had been the main perpetrator of the plot.
"The evidence will not establish and we will not argue that Tamerlan put a gun to Dzhokhar's head or that he forced him to join in the plan," Clark told the court, "but you will hear evidence about the kind of influence that his older brother had."