On Wednesday Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (21) was found guilty of bombing the 2013 Boston Marathon when three people died and other 264 were injured. It took the jury 11 hours to deliberate before declaring Tsarnaev guilty of all the 30 charges.
Next week the death penalty phase of the trial will begin and the jurors have to reach a common decision. If not all the jurors will agree with the death sentence, the accused will receive the penalty of life in prison.
Tsarnaev together with his brother planned what seems to be one of the most shocking attacks in the US ever since September 11, 2001. After the attack he left a note mentioning that the attack was a payback for the US military campaigns in countries which are Muslim-dominated.
His lawyers admitted that the accused planted one of the bombs and also killed one police officer. In the next phase they will claim that Tsarnaev’s life should be spared arguing that his brother, Tamerlan, was the mastermind of the attack and he was the one who influenced Tsarnaev.
When the verdict closed Karen Brassard, one of the victims of the attack who was injured together with her husband, said that they were satisfied with the outcome of the trial. She also added that she appreciated the fact that Tsarnaev showed no emotions. If he did he would not have been credible.
The second phase of the trial will probably last about two weeks. The same jury consisting of five men and seven women will hear testimony and take the decision of sentencing Tsarnaev to capital punishment or to life in prison without parole.
Professor Chris Dearborn of Suffolk University remarked that if the accused receives the death penalty numerous levels of appeal will seek relief from that ruling. If he will be sentenced to life in prison he will be sent to the Supermax facility in Florence (Colorado). It is the highest security prison in the country and it has housed notorious criminals such as Ted Kaczynski and Terry Nichols.
Marty Walsh, the mayor of the city declared:
“I am thankful that this phase of the trial has come to an end and am hopeful for a swift sentencing process,” Walsh confessed. “I hope today’s verdict provides a small amount of closure for the survivors, families, and all impacted by the violent and tragic events.”