Boston Marathon bomber sentenced to death

Byby Katie Utehs KGO logo
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Boston Marathon bomber sentenced to death
The jury deliberating the fate of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sentenced him to death Friday by lethal injection for the 2013 terror attack that left three people dead and over 260 injured.

The jury deliberating the fate of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sentenced him to death Friday by lethal injection for the 2013 terror attack.

The decision in the penalty phase of Tsarnaev's trial came after just over 14 hours of deliberations.

Tsarnaev was convicted last month of all 30 federal charges against him, 17 of which carried the possibility of the death penalty.

PHOTOS: The Boston Marathon Bombing

Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured when two pressure-cooker bombs packed with shrapnel exploded near the marathon finish line April 15, 2013.

Tsarnaev killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer days later.

Survivors said they're relieved this is coming to an end. "It feels like we can take a breath. Once the verdict came in, it was like OK now we can start from here and go forward and really feel like it's behind us," Karen Brassard said.

Legal experts believe Tsarnaev's defense attorney will file several appeals, which could take years to play out in court.

His father who lives in Russia promised to fight the sentencing until the end.

Runners who are getting ready for the Bay to Breakers race this weekend are reacting to the verdict. "There are so many reasons that people run Boston and what they carry in their hearts," one woman said.

"I'll be going back next year to run it and I'll be thinking about it, so it's not completely closure. I don't think there will ever be," Dorrette Franks said.

Kenley Gaffke stood a block away as the bombs went off two years ago. He followed the trial intently. The guilty verdict for Tsarnaev came down before this year's race, but the sentencing verdict was not determined until Friday. "I was glad they held off on the sentencing before the race because I thought that would be a lot of emotion," Gaffke said.

Some stand by the death sentence.

Franks is a coach and had athletes running Boston in 2013. "It's a very difficult thing to say for me to take responsibility that somebody else's life is going to be put on the line, but there needs to be accountability. It's just not right," Franks said.

Others think there are worse punishments. "If he was just given life in prison, I think that would be more torture because he's so young," Gaffke said.

Or perhaps the ultimate punishment comes from the thousands of people who refuse to stop running. "When someone starts living very differently, then the terrorists win," Craig Cohen said.

Boston and the running world are different, but not in the way the Tsarnaev brother's plotted.

Gaffke says in the years since the bombing, people line up along the route 10 deep cheering Boston strong. "That's when it hit me like wow that's what it means just to be like 'hey come back you don't let anything stop you from doing what you want to do,"' he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

For full coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing, click here.