Boston bomber apologizes to victims
Boston — Moments before a judge sentenced him to death, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev broke more than two years of silence Wednesday and apologized to the victims and their loved ones for the first time. “I pray for your relief, for your healing,” he said.
“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,” the 21-year-old former college student, speaking haltingly in his Russian accent.
After Tsarnaev said his piece, U.S. District Judge George O’Toole Jr. quoted Shakespeare’s line “The evil that men do lives after them. The good is often interred with their bones.”
“So it will be for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,” the judge said, telling Tsarnaev that no one will remember that his teachers were fond of him or that he showed compassion to the disabled.
“What will be remembered is that you murdered and maimed innocent people and that you did it willfully and intentionally,” O’Toole said.
Tsarnaev looked down and rubbed his hands together as the judge pronounced his fate: execution, the punishment decided on by the jury last month for the attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260.
The apology came after Tsarnaev listened impassively for about three hours as a procession of 24 victims and survivors lashed out at him for his “cowardly” and “disgusting” acts and urged him to show some remorse.
Tsarnaev’s apology was a five-minute address peppered with religious references and praise of Allah. He asked that Allah have mercy upon him and his dead brother and partner in crime, Tamerlan.
Outside court, some bombing survivors said they doubted Tsarnaev’s sincerity.
“It really does not change anything for me,” Scott Weisberg said.
Tsarnaev will probably be sent to the death row unit at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, where Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed. It could take years or even decades for his appeals to go through the courts.