When the jury decided last week that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should die for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, it marked the beginning of a process that could span a decade.
Indeed, once the federal judge formally confirms the death sentence, Tsarnaev will be handed over to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. There are two high-security detention facilities, Colorado’s ADX or Indiana’s Terre Haute, that could be his home, Massachusetts’ U.S. District Attorney Carmen Ortiz told Reuters news service.
Then, the lawyers for the convicted killer will start filing appeals.
It is worth noting that there are 59 federal prisoners on death row, and there have been only three executions since 1988, the year capital punishment was reinstated in the United States.
There are 32 states, including Ohio, that provide for the death penalty for state crimes.
But despite the slowness with which the wheels of justice turn with regard to capital cases, Tsarnaev’s death sentence does provide a certain amount of closure — given the bloody assault during the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, by Dzhokhar and his older brother, Tamerlan.
They detonated homemade pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the world- renowned race. The explosions claimed the lives of three: Eight-year-old Martin Richard; Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager from Medford, Mass; and, Lu Lingzi, 23, an exchange student from China. Martin’s 6-year-old sister, Jane, and his mother, Denise, were seriously injured.
More than 200 marathon participants and spectators were injured, with many having to have their lower limbs amputated or requiring extensive treatment and long periods of rehabilitation.
On April 18, 2013, the FBI released photographs and a surveillance of the brothers, who were born in eastern Europe but had lived in the U.S. for some time. The suspects killed an MIT campus policeman, Sean Collier, 26, carjacked an SUV and exchanged gunfire with police in Watertown, Mass.
An MBTA police officer was injured, while Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot several times. He died at the scene when his brother drove over him as he was making his getaway.
Dzhokhar was found by a Watertown resident on April 19 hiding in a boat parked in his backyard. The suspect was shot by police while in the boat and was taken to a hospital.
During an interrogation in the hospital he said his brother was the mastermind of the attack and claimed they were influenced by Islamic extremists who accuse America and other countries of waging war on Islam.
It is ironic that while the two brothers were leading comfortable, free lives in this country, they also were harboring deep-seated hatred for their adopted land.
Their actions on that fateful day in Boston speak to the cold-blooded nature of the crime.
They knew what would happen when they detonated the pressure-cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon. Their targets were not military, but civilian. They saw many children as they weaved their way through the crowds.
And yet, the killers did not hesitate.
During the trial, Tsarnaev’s lawyers chose not to deny his involvement, but, instead, sought to portray him as an impressionable young man under the spell of his older brother.
However, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lack of remorse was evident to everyone in the courtroom. Even after he was found guilty of the numerous charges and was subsequently sentenced to death, he remained emotionless. Tsarnaev has yet to publicly say, “I’m sorry.”