Tsarnaev Finally Speaks

He apologizes, and judge makes death sentence official
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2015 1:03 PM CDT
Updated Jun 24, 2015 1:22 PM CDT
Tsarnaev Finally Speaks
A file photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.   (FBI via AP, File)

He's sorry. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev finally spoke publicly today about his role in the Boston Marathon bombing, admitting his guilt in court and apologizing to the victims and their families. “I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering I have caused, and for the terrible damage I have done,” he said, reports the Boston Globe. He spoke softly, hunched over, and with a slight accent, says the newspaper. Tsarnaev said that after the bombing, he learned the names, ages, and faces of some of his victims. “I am Muslim. My religion is Islam. I pray to Allah to bestow his mercy on those affected in the bombing and their families,” he said. “I pray for your healing.”

The 21-year-old also asked Allah to show mercy to himself, his brother, and his family. "If there is any lingering doubt, I did it along with my brother," he said, per CNN. The courtroom remained silent as he spoke. Soon after he finished his approximately five-minute statement, the judge made the death penalty official, reports AP. "I sentence you to the penalty of death by execution," declared Judge George O'Toole Jr. “No one will remember that your teachers were fond of you, that you were funny, a good athlete,’’ he said. "Whenever your name is mentioned, what will be remembered is the evil you have done.’’ (Before Tsarnaev spoke, the victims had their say.)

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