Gov. Charlie Baker reiterated that the death penalty would be appropriate for the Boston Marathon bomber convicted by a jury on Wednesday of all charges.
A jury at the federal courthouse in South Boston returned a verdict declaring Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who planted two bombs along the marathon route with his late brother Tamerlan in 2013, guilty on all 30 counts.
Three people, including an eight-year-old boy, were killed in the bombing, and hundreds more were injured. The brothers also killed an MIT police officer while fleeing the state.
Jurors must now determine whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should receive the death penalty or life in prison.
“I said last year that for a crime like this, I would support the death penalty. I continue to, but obviously this is a decision that gets made by the jury,” Baker told reporters shortly after the verdict was read.
Baker said his first thought after hearing about the verdict was the families affected by the bombings, who were likely re-living “in very graphic detail” the moment through the trial.
“To this day I continue to be amazed that somebody could stand there for four minutes, in front of Martin Richard, and place that device right next to him,” Baker said, referring to the eight-year-old boy.
The family of Sean Collier, the MIT police officer, thanked the jury for the verdict. “While today’s verdict can never bring Sean back, we are thankful that Dzhokar Tsarnaev will be held accountable for the evil that he brought to so many families,” they said in a statement.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a statement, “Nothing will ever replace what was lost in the wake of the Marathon bombing, but today’s verdict is another step toward justice. Together, we will move forward.”
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he hoped for a “swift sentencing process.”
“I hope today’s verdict provides a small amount of closure for the survivors, families, and all impacted by the violent and tragic events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon,” Walsh said. “The incidents of those days have forever left a mark on our City. As we remember those who lost so much, we reflect on how tragedy revealed our deepest values, and the best of who we are as a community.”
Baker told reporters that he is glad the verdict came in and he has “no problem” with it.
“I think it’s really important, for especially the families involved here, to have their day in court and I believe they’ve been having their day in court and I think that’s a great thing,” he added.
Baker said he had been following the case through news reports and he wasn’t surprised by the verdict, or the speed in which the jury reached it. Baker noted that the defense team conceded that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was one of the two bombers.
Asked whether television cameras should be allowed inside the courtroom, Baker said, “Federal decision, federal law, federal courtroom. They get to make the call on that. I certainly think, my own view, that thing was covered well enough. As a citizen just following the trial myself, I had no trouble understanding what was actually going on.”