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article imageMarathon bomber to hear execution date next month

By Nathan Salant     May 31, 2015 in Crime
Boston - Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could learn the date of his execution next month when a federal judge formally sentences the 21-year-old immigrant to death.
U.S. Judge George O'Toole issued the scheduling order Thursday, one week after a federal jury decided to execute Tsarnaev, the former Boston college student who helped plant two bombs that killed three and injured hundreds at the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Next month's hearing raises the possibility that people who suffered catastrophic injuries in the bombing but have recovered will be in court next month to confront Tsarnaev and perhaps express their outrage at his conduct, according to the Reuters news service.
But Tsarnaev, too, will have another opportunity to explain why he participated in the attack, which devastated Boston on what is normally a day of civic celebration and pride.
Tsarnaev did not testify in his own defense and has not offered any explanation for the bombing since writing a confession on the inside of the boat he was captured in a few days after the bombings.
The two bombs planted by Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, exploded on the crowded Boylston Street sidewalk and left scores of spectators seriously wounded near the marathon finish line.
Seventeen spectators lost legs because Tsarnaev left his bomb on the sidewalk where the blast spread pounds of shrapnel near the ground.
Security camera video presented by the government at Tsarnaev's trial in March showed him leaving a bomb on the sidewalk near an eight-year-old Massachusetts boy, Martin Richard, who died from his injuries.
Others killed by bombs were 23-year-old Chinese exchange student Lingzi Lu and 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell; Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, 26, was killed when the brothers tried to escape Boston after the marathon.
Of course, whatever execution date is assigned to Tsarnaev may not be the end of the story.
Tsarnaev's defense team, led by well-known death penalty defense expert Judy Clarke, has promised to appeal the conviction.
That could mean months or years before Tsarnaev's death sentence can be carried out.
No federal prisoners have been executed in the United States since 2003, Reuters said.
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