Judge: Boston bomber’s sentencing hearing set for June
Boston — Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be formally sentenced to death next month after at least 20 victims describe the impact the terror attack had on their lives.
Judge George O’Toole Jr. said during a status conference in federal court Tuesday that Tsarnaev’s formal sentencing hearing will be held in June. He did not immediately set an exact date.
A jury last week determined that Tsarnaev should get the death penalty in the 2013 attack. Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured when Tsarnaev and his brother placed two pressure-cooker bombs near the marathon finish line.
The jury rejected the defense claim that Tsarnaev, then 19, was “a good kid” who was led down the path to terrorism by Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his 26-year-old brother.
The defense suggested Tamerlan Tsarnaev engineered the attack to punish the U.S. for its wars in Muslim countries. Prosecutors noted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev scrawled a message on the day of his arrest that read, “Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.”
About 20 victims have asked to speak at the sentencing hearing, prosecutor William Weinreb told the judge. He said it was unclear whether that number will grow. Tsarnaev will also be given the opportunity to speak.
O’Toole granted a request to give Tsarnaev’s lawyers 90 days to file post-trial motions, including an expected request for a new trial.
Tsarnaev was not in the courtroom for the status conference. His likely appeal of the death sentence would take years.