Reactions To Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Apology Show The Boston Bomber Isn't Close To Being Forgiven
Dzhokhar Tsarneav finally broke his two-year silence, but his words seem to have fallen on deaf ears, as general reaction to Tsarnaev's apology show the Boston Bomber isn't close to being forgiven. Tsarnaev, who is 21, was sentenced to death during Wednesday's hearing in Boston after being found guilty of setting the two bombs that killed three people and injured 264 others during the city's 2013 marathon. Tsarnaev is the only one of the bombers to stand trial, as his older brother and co-conspirator Tamerlan was killed during a shoot-out with police shortly after the bombing.
Although Tsarnaev has been silent and mostly expressionless throughout the trial, his four-minute speech sought forgiveness for his crimes and dispelled any possibility of his innocence. “I am sorry for the lives that I have taken, the suffering that I have caused you, the damage that I’ve done," Tsarnaev said, before stating that he was was unequivocally guilty. "There is little doubt about that," he said.
In addition to acknowledging his guilt, Tsarnaev invoked his Muslim religion, and said he would pray for the victims and their families.
I learned their faces, their names. You told us just how unbearable it was, this thing I put you through. I am Muslim. My religion is Islam. I pray to Allah to bestow his mercy on those affected in the bombing and their families. I pray for your healing.
His apology was met with mixed reaction by survivors. One victim, 21-year-old Henry Borgard, gave Tsarnaev the benefit of the doubt. "For me to hear him say that he’s sorry, that is enough for me. ... I hope that his words were genuine," Borgard said. However, some did not have the same opinion, calling the apology "Oscar-worthy" and "insincere." Others lamented that he was even allowed to speak. "I regret having ever wanted to hear him speak," said survivor Lynn Julian. "Because what he said showed no remorse, no regret and no empathy for what he's done to our lives."
People around the nation took to social media to echo the survivors' sentiments.
However, some drew a thought provoking comparison between Tsarnaev and Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, who was publicly forgiven by family members of his victims last week.
But unlike in the case of Roof, those addressing Tsarnaev have not expressed forgiveness. Judge George O'Toole, who enforced the bomber's death sentence, said, "Whenever your name is mentioned, all that will be remembered is the evil you have done.