Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Boston Marathon bomber says he's sorry for the first time

Published:Thursday | June 25, 2015 | 6:00 AM
In this December 18, 2014 courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sits in federal court in Boston.

BOSTON (AP):

In a startling turn, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rose to his feet and apologised to the victims and their loved ones for the first time yesterday, just before a judge formally sentenced him to death.

"I am sorry for the lives that I've taken, for the suffering that I've caused you, for the damage that I've done - irreparable damage," the 21-year-old college student said in his Russian accent, breaking more than two years of public silence.

To the victims, he said: "I pray for your relief, for your healing."

After Tsarnaev said his piece, US District Judge George O'Toole Jr quoted Shakespeare's line "The evil that men do lives after them. The good is often interred with their bones."

"So it will be for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev," the judge said, telling Tsarnaev that no one will remember that his teachers were fond of him, that his friends found him fun to be with, or that he showed compassion to disabled people.

"What you will be remembered is that you murdered and maimed innocent people, and that you did it willfully and intentionally. You did it on purpose," O'Toole said.

"I sentence you to the penalty of death by execution," he said.

Tsarnaev looked down and rubbed his hands together as the judge pronounced his fate.

The apology came after Tsarnaev listened impassively for about three hours as a procession of victims and their loved ones lashed out at him for his "cowardly" and "disgusting" acts.