BOSTON — Two years after bombs in two backpacks transformed the Boston Marathon from a sunny rite of spring to a smoky battlefield with bodies dismembered, a federal jury on Friday condemned Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death for his role in the 2013 attack.
In a sweeping rejection of the defense case, the jury found that death was the appropriate punishment for six of 17 capital counts — all six related to Mr. Tsarnaev’s planting of a pressure-cooker bomb on Boylston Street, which his lawyers never disputed. Mr. Tsarnaev, 21, stood stone-faced in court, his hands folded in front of him, as the verdict was read, his lawyers standing grimly at his side.
Immediate reaction was mostly subdued.
“Happy is not the word I would use,” said Karen Brassard, who suffered grievous leg injuries in the bombing. “There’s nothing happy about having to take somebody’s life. I’m satisfied, I’m grateful that they came to that conclusion, because for me I think it was the just conclusion.”
She said she understood that all-but-certain appeals meant the case could drag out over years if not decades. “But right now,” she said, “it feels like we can take a breath and kind of actually breathe again.”The bombings two years ago turned one of this city’s most cherished athletic events into a grim tragedy — the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001. Three people were killed, and 17 people lost at least one leg. More than 240 others sustained serious injuries.