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article imageThe monster speaks — Boston Marathon bomber says he's sorry

By Nathan Salant     Jun 25, 2015 in World
Boston - Surviving marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev apologized to the people of Boston yesterday for his role in the 2013 attack that left four dead, hundreds maimed and shocked an entire nation.
Tsarnaev, 21, was formally sentenced to death Wednesday for helping his brother, Tamerlan, build and plant two bombs that disrupted the 2013 Boston Marathon and forever changed the American narrative.
Before U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole Jr. read the death sentence, Tsarnaev broke two years of public silence by making a statement admitting his responsibility for the bombing and asking the Muslim god Allah for forgiveness.
"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," Tsarnaev said in English, according to the Boston Globe newspaper.
Tsarnaev actually was sentenced to death by a federal jury last month; Wednesday's formal declaration by O'Toole was a formality that gave the defendant a final opportunity to speak.
And Tsarnaev took full advantage — this time — after refusing for months to explain his actions beyond speaking with his attorneys, acting bored in court sessions and, once, making an obscene gesture to a jail security camera.
Tsarnaev said he was guilty of the bombing for which he had been charged.
"If there's any lingering doubt about that, let there be no more," he told the court.
"I did do it along with my brother," Tsarnaev said.
But Tsarnaev did not really explain further what the rationale was for the attack, beyond the diatribe he had written inside the boat he was found hiding in in Watertown after the shootout that claimed the life of Tamerlan a few days after the marathon.
Tsarnaev wrote on the walls of the boat that the bombing was to avenge the lives of Muslims killed by U.S. soldiers in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But Tsarnaev said in court that he had heard the testimony of bombing victims and had prayed for them.
"I prayed for Allah to bestow his mercy upon the deceased, those affected in the bombing and their families," he said.
"Allah says in the Qur’an that with every hardship there is relief -- I pray for your relief, for your healing, for your well-being, for your strength," Tsarnaev said.
The sentence O'Toole read Wednesday was six death sentences, 20 life in prison sentences and four additional prison sentences of between seven and 25 years, according to the New York Times newspaper.
But Tsarnaev's actual execution could be years or even decades away, depending on how vigorously and effectively he is able to pursue various options to appeal, the newspaper said.
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