BOSTON (June 24, 2015) – Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was placed on death row during his federal sentencing hearing today. He will likely serve this sentence in Terre Haute, Indiana, although that cannot be confirmed until Tsarnaev is actually in the prison.
The preceding today were more of a formality since the decision to impose the death penalty belonged to the jury.
Tsarnaev addressed the court during his sentencing. He acknowledged Ramadan and expressed gratitude to Allah, asking Allah to help the victims and their families. “If there is any lingering doubt, I did it along with my brother,” he said, referring to the bombing. “I ask Allah to have mercy on me, my brother and my family.”
Tsarnaev also acknowledged the families of the victims: “I would like to now apologize to the victims and the survivors. I am sorry for the lives that I have taken.”
Tsarnaev, a 21-year-old former college student, is the first person to be handed a death sentence in a federal terrorism case since the attacks of September 11, 2001. He and his older brother, Tamerlan, who died while fleeing police, set off two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.
Just 75 people have received federal death sentences since modern death penalty laws went into force in 1988, according to the Death Penalty Information Center’s website.
Only three federal death sentences have been carried out:
- Timothy McVeigh was executed in June 2001 for the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.
- Juan Raul Garza, a marijuana trafficker convicted of murdering three drug dealers in Texas, also was executed in June 2001.
- Louis Jones, a decorated Gulf War veteran, was executed in March 2003 for the kidnapping and murder of a young female soldier in Texas.