Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Reaction To His Sentencing Hearing Was Unexpected
A federal jury chose the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev back in May, but it wasn't official until a judge delivered the sentence. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge George O'Toole formally sentenced the Boston Marathon bomber to death, and Tsarnaev's reaction to his sentencing was chilling. After entering the courtroom Wednesday morning with his attorney, Tsarnaev was seen smiling and laughing, fully aware of what punishment awaited him for the 2013 attack that killed three and injured more than 260.
Tsarnaev was found guilty of 30 charges linked to the bombing in April, and a jury voted that the death penalty was appropriate for six of the charges, although only one would have been enough for the punishment. Boston Magazine editor Garret Quinn tweeted from the courtroom: "#Tsarnaev often had smirk or a somewhat positive/cocky facial expression when entering court in the past. Not today. He looks miserable."
Only a few minutes later though, Tsarnaev's demeanor had totally shifted. Quinn tweeted: "#Tsarnaev now appears more upbeat, he's looking around the courtroom, chatting with his lawyers. Cracking a smile." The convicted terrorist arrived to the Boston court before the jurors who decided his fate and about 30 victims who addressed Tsarnaev Wednesday. The 12 jurors weren't required to attend the formal sentencing, but many did.
Survivors of the bombing had the chance to say something to Tsarnaev at the sentencing, including loved ones of the victims who died. Krystle Campbell's mother, Patricia Campbell, told him, "I know life is hard ... What you did to my daughter was disgusting ... I don't know what to say to you ... I think the jury did the right thing." While Patricia spoke, Tsarnaev faced her, but didn't appear to be looking at her, according to Quinn. As others spoke, he showed not emotion, and later looked "dazed."
Bill Richard, the father of 8-year-old Martin Richard, wanted Tsarnaev to spend life in prison and told the court:
He chose hate. He chose destruction. He chose death. This is all on him. We choose love. We choose kindness. We choose peace. We preferred he had a lifetime to reconcile what he did that day but he will have less than that.
Quinn reported that as MBTA Transit Police officer Dic Donohue, who almost died during a shootout between Tsarnaev and the police, spoke, Tsarnaev looked at the jury and leaned back in his chair. Donahue said to the court: "His actions are no less than treason against the United States of America and should be treated as such."
Tsarnaev will have the opportunity to speak in court Wednesday, but it's unclear whether or not he will. He never testified during his trial or said anything to his victims following the bombing.