Boston, AFP -Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has apologised to his victims for the first time before being formally sentenced to death by a federal judge.
The 21-year-old was officially sentenced to death on six counts over the 2013 bombings, one of the worst assaults on US soil since the September 11 attacks in 2001.
‘I would like to now apologise to the victims and to the survivors,’ said the former university student in his first public remarks since the bombings, that killed three people.
‘I am guilty,’ he said, standing pale and thin in a dark blazer. ‘Let there be no doubt about that.’
He said he listened throughout the 12-week trial as he learnt about the victims from often harrowing testimony.
‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering, the damage that I have done,’ he said, beginning his remarks in the name of Allah and asking for God’s forgiveness.
‘I pray to Allah to bestow his mercy upon the deceased,’ he said. ‘I ask Allah to have mercy upon me, upon my brother, upon my family.’
Judge George O’Toole officially imposed the death sentence, which had been reached unanimously by the 12-person jury on May 15.
‘I sentence you to the penalty of death by execution,’ O’Toole told Tsarnaev, before he was led away by US Marshals.
Throughout the trial the man who came to the United States as a child and took citizenship in 2012, sat in silence, at times fidgeting but expressing little emotion.
On Wednesday, more than 20 victims and their relatives addressed the court, making harrowing impact statements summing up their grief, pain, anger and at times forgiveness.