Written by Andrea Martin. Media by Matt Miller.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty of all 30 charges that were against him for his role in the Boston Marathon Bombing that took place in 2013.
The jury deliberated for 12 hours over the span of two days, and now the only thing left to decide is whether the 21 year-old will be sentenced to life in prison, or receive the death penalty.
Charges that Tsarnaev was found guilty of ranged from carjacking to using weapons of mass destruction. He was also found guilty for
the deaths of Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu and Martin Richard, who was only 8 years old. The bombings, which were also carried out by his brother, Tamerlan, wounded over 264 others.
As the verdicts were read, Tsarnaev made no sound and kept his head down. Even when he looked up his face held “no expression.”
Prosecutors painted a picture of Tsarnaev that presented him as cold and calculating.
“There was nothing about this day that was a twist of fate,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Aloke Chakravarty said during closing arguments. “This was a cold, calculated terrorist act. This was intentional. It was bloodthirsty. It was to make a point. It was to tell America that ‘We will not be terrorized by you anymore. We will terrorize you.'”
The only defense for Tsarnaev was that he did not participate in the bombings. But it was acknowledged that he was under the strong influence of his brother.
Victims of the bombings found some reconciliation in the guilty verdict of Tsarnaev, but even then found it difficult to rejoice.
“Obviously we are grateful for the outcome today,” Karen Brassard said, a survivor of the deadly bombing. “It’s not a happy occasion, but it’s something that we can put one more step behind us.”
Jeff Bauman echoed the same idea. He lost both his legs during the bombing and was relieved with the verdict outcome.
“Today’s verdict will never replace the lives that were lost and so dramatically changed,” he said, “but it is a relief, and one step closer to closure.”
What led Tsarnaev and his brother to carry out such a horrible scheme is still widely speculated, but many have addressed their views regarding the American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bombs of destruction were placed at one of the most prestigious races in retaliation to American involvement within the wars, which gave a taste of homegrown terrorism.
The city of Boston, however, did not falter in the wake of an altering reality. The city stood strong amidst the ruins and gore, and refused to bow down to the terror that had shaken the nation as a whole. An outpouring of grief was felt from countries around the globe, giving the city hope again. Professional sports teams, from New York to L.A., rallied around the people of Boston, professing that they were “Boston Strong,” and would stand by those who were suffering.
The bombings will unfortunately go down in history for the destruction that they caused, but the city itself will be an example of the indomitable will that shines through in times of adversity. As the years go on, closure will rain over the city one day at a time, but the hope and strength that is embodied within it will never fade.