Boston bomber says ‘sorry’ for deadly 2013 attack

Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev admits guilt and apologises for his role in deadly 2013 attacks

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Wednesday apologised for his role in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured 264.

"I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering that I have caused you, for the damage I have done, irreparable damage," Tsarnaev (21) said, speaking at a federal court.

The ethnic Chechen, did not speak in his own defence during his trial, this was his first address to a federal judge.

"In case there is any doubt, I am guilty of this attack, along with my brother," Tsarnaev said, standing in the defence chamber in court.

A US jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death, on May 15, 2015 for his role in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Tsarnaev was convicted of killing three people and injuring almost 300 people in one of the highest-profile attacks on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

Reaching to death sentence, a US jury heard from about 150 witnesses, including the victims of the attacks over 10 weeks of trial.

Tsarnaev was convicted of murdering 8-year-old Martin Richard, 23-year-old Chinese graduate student Lingzi Lu and 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell.

Dzhokhar conducted the attacks with his elder brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed three days after the attacks during a shootout with police, following the fatal shooting of Massachusetts of Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier for which Dzhokhar has been found guilty. Dzhokhar survived with injuries and was found hiding inside of a boat in the backyard of a local house.  

Citing a note that Tsarnaev wrote while hiding in a boat, bleeding, after a gunfight with police four days after the April 15, 2013, attack, Assistant US Attorney Steven Mellin said Tsarnaev had turned against his adopted country.

Defence lawyers contend that Tsarnaev was an adrift teenager under the spell of his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, who they claimed was mainly responsible for the bombing and murder of a police officer three days after.

They also noted that when Dzhokhar's parents returned to their hometown Russia in 2012, he was left under the influence of Tamerlan, who had become obsessed with becoming a militant.

The decision does not mean Tsarnaev will be imminently executed though, as the defence attorneys are expected to appeal the decision.

Tsarnaev spoke following dozens of victim impact statements were heard, including from those who lost their limbs and loved ones in the bombing.

Bill Richard, who lost his 8-year-old son Martin in the deadly attacks, said, “There’s nothing we can say that will change anything for us.”

Tsarnaev “could have stopped his brother, he could have changed his mind. He chose hate, he chose destruction, he chose death.”

However Richard and his wife Denise said “We choose love,” and accentuated their disapproval to the death penalty.

Rebekah Gregory, one of the victims of the bombing who lost her left leg during the attack, addressed Tsarnaev directly

"Terrorists like you do two things in this world. One, they create mass destruction, but the second is quite interesting, because do you know what mass destruction really does? It brings people together. We are Boston strong and we are America strong, and choosing to mess with us was a terrible idea,’’ Gregory said.

"How's that for your victim impact statement?"

TRTWorld and agencies