The Boston Bomber's Reaction To His Death Sentence Was Pretty Surprising
On Friday, a federal jury in Massachusetts sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the death penalty, prompting reactions that ranged from vindication to shock. But similar to the mask of indifference that he displayed all throughout the trial, Tsarnaev showed no visible reaction as the death sentence was handed out.
Though reporters largely said that they saw no reaction from Tsarnaev, Jim Armstrong of CBS' Boston affiliate tweeted that he saw Tsarnaev swallow hard.
The decision came as a surprise to some, including experts who thought the death penalty unlikely considering his age at the time of the 2013 bombing, despite the real prospect of a death penalty hanging over his head during the months of trial and his defense team's virulent fight for a life sentence. The 21-year-old has kept a persistent show of aloofness during the trial, a point that prosecutors used as evidence of his lack of remorse.
The only time Tsarnaev showed any emotion was when his 64-year-old aunt took to the stand earlier this month to testify — for the first time, Tsarnaev cried, reaching for a box of tissues to wipe his tears.
Although the courtroom reportedly kept a sober mien as the sentence was read out, at least one juror — the seven men and five women jurors spent close to half a year on the case — was seen crying. A number of spectators were also in tears as U.S. Court Marshalls escorted Tsarnaev out of the courthouse, as were those outside the building, The Guardian reported. Tsarnaev's father, Anton, who lives in the Russian region of Dagestan, released a wail when AP contacted him by phone, and hung up.
Tsarnaev's defense team, led by the formidable Judy Clarke, reportedly left the courthouse in a somber mood without making comment to the crowd of reporters outside.