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Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Sentenced to Death

The jury in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev handed down a death sentence Friday afternoon in a Boston courtroom. Tsarnaev was convicted last month on all 30 counts for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured hundreds.

The appeals process will now begin, and it is likely to last for years. But in the end, Tsarnaev will probably be put to death; exactly when is anyone’s guess.

Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, set off a wave of horror when they placed multiple bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. The explosions rocked the city, leading to a massive manhunt during which Tamerlan was killed and Dkhokhar wounded. Police eventually found him bleeding but alive, hiding out in a boat in a suburban driveway.

His lawyer, Judy Clarke, argued that her client should not receive the death penalty, that Tamerlan was the real brains and inspiration behind the crime and that Dkhokhar was merely following his big brother’s lead. The jury did not buy that, taking only 14 hours to unanimously agree to the severest punishment allowed by law. This is the first time since September 11, 2001, that a federal jury has handed down a death sentence in a terrorism case.

“After all of the carnage and fear and terror that he has caused, the right decision is clear,” said Steven Mellin, one of the federal prosecutors, in his closing argument. “The only sentence that will do justice in this case is a sentence of death.”

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