During his sentencing hearing this afternoon, Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev addressed the court and members of his victims’ families for the first time. “I am sorry for the lives I’ve taken, for the suffering I have caused, and for the terrible damage I have done,” he said, reportedly while crying.
“I would like to apologize to the victims and the survivors,” said Tsarnaev, who was sentenced to death. “I did do it.”
“I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering I have caused, and for the terrible damage I have done,” he said. He was hunched over and spoke with a slight accent.
It was the first time Tsarnaev’s voice has been heard in federal court in Boston, other than to enter his not-guilty plea. His statement came after hours of heartwrenching testimony from relatives of those killed in the bombing and survivors of the blasts.
“I am Muslim. My religion is Islam. I pray to Allah to bestow his mercy on those affected in the bombing and their families,” he said. “I pray for your healing.”
“I ask Allah to have mercy on me, my brother, and my family,” he said in his brief statement to a silent courtroom.
The hearing ended with Judge George O’Toole formally sentencing Tsarnaev to “death by execution” on some charges and life in prison on others (a federal jury had already sentenced him to death in May). Tsarnaev reportedly showed no emotion as he was sentenced by the judge.
The parents of Krystal Campbell, 29, who was killed in the bombing, spoke briefly. Her mother, Patricia, told Tsarnaev the choices he made were “despicable” and “what you did was disgusting.”
“I think the jury did the right thing,” she said.
Tsarnaev was also charged with killing Sean Collier, 27, a police officer for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the aftermath of the attack. Collier’s stepsister Jennifer Rogers had sharp words for the killer, saying he had shown no remorse as he swaggered into court thinking it was a party.
“He’s a coward and a liar,” she said. “He showed no remorse. He has not once shown that he cares about a single person but himself. He is a leech.”