Here's What Some Of The Boston Bomber's Victims Thought About His Public Apology
On Wednesday, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was formally sentenced to death in a Boston court, and the Boston Marathon bomber made his first public statement about the 2013 attack. Tsarnaev admitted that he was responsible for the act of terror that killed three and injured 264, and apologized to his victims and those affected. Survivors had the opportunity to speak to Tsarnaev at the hearing, telling him that what he did was "disgusting" and that his actions were "no less than treason," but that was before he gave his unexpected statement. Now, victims are responding to Tsarnaev's apology, and some say they've forgiven him, but others think his comments were insincere.
When speaking in court Wednesday, Tsarnaev said: "I am sorry for the lives that I've taken, for the suffering that I've caused you, for the damage that I've done, irreparable damage. ... I prayed for Allah to bestow his mercy upon the deceased, those affected in the bombing and their families ... I pray for your relief, for your healing, for your well-being, for your strength." Afterwards, U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. officially sentenced Tsarnaev to death, saying: "What will be remembered is that you murdered and maimed innocent people and that you did it willfully and intentionally."
Survivor Henry Borgard, a 21-year-old Suffolk University student, has forgiven Tsarnaev. After hearing his apology, Borgard said:
I was actually really happy that he made the statement. As I said in my personal impact statement, I have forgiven him. I have come to a place of peace and I genuinely hope that he does as well. And for me to hear him say that he's sorry, that is enough for me and I hope — because I still do have faith in humanity, including in him — I hope that his words were genuine. I hope that they were heartfelt. I hope that they were as honest as the statements that you heard today in court from the victims and the survivors. I obviously have no way of knowing that, but I'm going to take it on faith that what he said was genuine.
There was a little bit of rhetoric in there ... some of it was hard to hear, you know, but I was really profoundly affected, really deeply moved that he did do that because whether we like to acknowledge it or not, his statement, like ours, takes courage because the entire world is watching us right now and the fact that he made a statement, which he didn't have to do, gives him a little bit of credit in my book.
Some don't feel as forgiving however. According to CNN's Brooke Baldwin, another victim called his apology "Oscar-worthy." Baldwin tweeted that the survivor, "says his apology was 'insincere.' Wishes she hadn't heard it." Another victim said his apology "showed no remorse, no regret, and no empathy for what he's done to our lives."
Before Wednesday, Tsarnaev had never said anything to his victims. Survivor Scott Weisberg said after the hearing that he was surprised Tsarnaev spoke. Weisberg said: "He said he was remorseful; I find it hard to believe since I came to a lot of the trial and never saw that."