The 22-year-old convicted murderer speaks out for the first time in court

By Steve Helling
Updated June 24, 2015 02:10 PM
Credit: Jane Flavell Collins/AP

Speaking with a slight accent, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev finally spoke for the first time since the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

“This is the blessed month of Ramadan, the month of mercy,” he began, his voice shaking, “the month of forgiveness.”

“I would like to now apologize to the victims and to the survivors,” he continued as he choked up. “Immediately after the bombing that I am guilty of, I learned of some of the victims. Their names, their faces, their ages. During this trial, more of the victims had names.”

“I am sorry for the lives I have taken and for the suffering I have caused,” he continued, “and for the terrible damage I have done.”

“I am Muslim. The God I worship I pray that Allah will bestow mercy on you. I pray for your relief, for your healing, your well-being and strength. I ask Allah for mercy for me and for my brother and my family. Allah knows best.”

Judge George A. O’Toole was not swayed by the apology.

“Whenever your name is mentioned, what will be remembered is the evil,” O’Toole told Tsarnaev. “Nobody will remember that your teachers liked you. Nobody will remember that you were a talented athlete, or that you were a best buddy companion. What will always be remembered is that you murdered and maimed innocent people.”

O’Toole then told Tsarnaev to stand. “I sentence you to the penalty of death by execution.”

Tsarnaev will remain on death row in federal prison. His lawyers say they plan to appeal the sentence.

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