[JURIST] Chechen immigrant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was sentenced to death by lethal injection on Friday by a federal jury for his role in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings [CNN backgrounder] after 14 hours of deliberations. He will be formally sentenced at a hearing within weeks, during which victims will be able to address him and give impact statements. The attack, supposedly meant to punish America for perceived harm against Muslims, was perpetrated by Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, who together placed two pressure-cooker explosive in the crowd near the finish line. While Tsarnaev’s defense team admitted [CNN report] at trial that he had played a role in the attacks, it asserted that it was his older brother Tamerlan that was the main force [BBC report] behind the attack with defense attorney Judy Clarke stating that the crimes would not have been committed if not for Tamerlan. US Attorney General Loretta Lynch [official profile] called the death penalty a fitting punishment for the crimes committed, saying she hopes that the completion of the prosecution will “bring some measure of closure to the victims and their families.”
Tsarnaev was convicted [JURIST report] in April on 30 federal charges [verdict slip, PDF] relating to the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The Boston Marathon bombing trial began in early March after a number of delays. Earlier that month the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit rejected [JURIST report] a motion by Tsarnaev to move the trial out of Boston. In January a judge for the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts rejected [JURIST report] a plea by lawyers for Tsarnaev to pause jury selection for his trial due to the attacks in Paris. The judge, in a short ruling, noted that he had given potential jurors a questionnaire to asses whether an impartial jury could be chosen in this case. Earlier in January the jury selection began [JURIST report] with more than 1,200 potential jurors being called to the federal courthouse for consideration.