Date set for Boston Marathon bomber’s sentencing

Date set for Boston Marathon bomber’s sentencing

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to be formally handed the death penalty on June 24, over 2013 attack that killed three

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, convicted in the Boston Marathon bombing. (AP/FBI, File)
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, convicted in the Boston Marathon bombing. (AP/FBI, File)

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be formally sentenced to death on June 24, a US district judge decreed Thursday.

A jury determined earlier this month that Tsarnaev should get the death penalty for the 2013 attack. Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured when Tsarnaev and his brother placed two pressure-cooker bombs near the marathon finish line.

Prosecutors say at least 20 victims of the explosions have asked to speak at the sentencing hearing.

Tsarnaev will also be given the chance to speak if he so chooses.

Judge George O’Toole gave Tsarnaev’s lawyers until Aug. 17 to file any post-trial motions along with all supporting material.

In weighing the arguments for and against death, the jurors decided among other things that Tsarnaev showed a lack of remorse. And they emphatically rejected the defense’s central argument — that he was led down the path to terrorism by his big brother.

The 12-member federal jury had to be unanimous for Tsarnaev to get the death penalty. Otherwise, the former college student would have automatically received life in prison with no chance of parole.

Tsarnaev was convicted in April on all 30 charges against him, including use of a weapon of mass destruction, for joining his now-dead brother, Tamerlan, in setting off two shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the race. Tsarnaev was also found guilty in the killing of an MIT police officer during the getaway.

Seventeen of the charges carried the possibility of a death sentence; ultimately, the jury gave him the death penalty on six of those counts. The jury agreed with the prosecution on 11 of the 12 aggravating factors cited, including the cruelty of the crime, the extent of the carnage, the killing of a child, and Tsarnaev’s lack of remorse.

“Today the jury has spoken. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will pay for his crimes with his life,” said US Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

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