World

Boston marathon bomber apologises to victims

The Boston marathon bomber made a sombre apology to his victims for the first time at an emotional court hearing on Wednesday (June 24) where he was formally sentenced to death for the 2013 attacks.

The 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said: "I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering I have caused, and for the terrible damage I have done."

"I would like to apologise to the victims and the survivors... I did do it," added Tsarnaev.

The US citizen of Chechen descent was sentenced to death on six counts for perpetrating the Marathon bombings, one of the bloodiest attacks on US soil since the ones on September 11, 2001.

The act of terror in 2013 killed three people and wounded 264 others, including 17 who lost limbs.

Throughout the trial, he was criticised for not showing remorse.

Judge George O'toole officially imposed the death sentence yesterday (June 25) after a long, harrowing trial.

He said that Tsarnaev would forever be remembered as a symbol of evil.

O'toole said to Tsarnaev:

"No one will remember that your teachers were fond of you, that you were funny, a good athlete. Whenever your name is mentioned, what will be remembered is the evil you have done."

Some survivors were appreciative of Tsarnaev's apology.

Henry Borgard,(below with dog) who was injured in the bombings on his way home from work, said: "I have forgiven him. I have come to a place of peace and I genuinely hope that he does as well.

"I'm going to take it on faith what he said was genuine," he said. 

But others were still sceptical.

Government prosecutors criticised Tsarnaev for not renouncing terrorism.

A mother, Patricia Campbell, of a woman who was killed in the attacks said: "The choices you made were despicable."

She told Tsarnaev directly: "What you did to my daughter was disgusting. The jury did the right thing."

Bill Richard, the father of the youngest victim, eight-year-old Martin, said that Tsarnaev could have stopped his brother, changed his mind and "walk away with a minimal sense of humanity".

Richard said: "He chose hate. He chose destruction. He chose death.

"We choose love. We choose kindness. We choose peace. This is what makes us different."

Another survivor, Lynn Julian said: "A simple believable apology would have been great. There was nothing simple and nothing sincere."

Sources: AFP, Boston Globe

Dzhokhar TsarnaevBoston BombingsMarathonterrorismunited states