Judge in Boston Marathon bombing trial issues statement before he sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death

U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr.'s words before sentencing Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing trial. Boston Marathon bomber Tsarnaev: ‘Sorry for the lives I have taken’

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff,
v.
DZHOKHAR A. TSARNAEV, also
known as Jahar Tsarni,
Defendant.

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Criminal Action
No. 13-10200-GAO

BEFORE THE HONORABLE GEORGE A. O'TOOLE, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

EXCERPT OF DISPOSITION
REMARKS BY THE HON. GEORGE A. O'TOOLE, JR.,
DISTRICT JUDGE
John J. Moakley United States Courthouse
Courtroom No. 9
One Courthouse Way
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Marcia G. Patrisso, RMR, CRR
Official Court Reporter
John J. Moakley U.S. Courthouse
One Courthouse Way, Room 3510
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
(617) 737-8728
Mechanical Steno - Computer-Aided Transcript

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APPEARANCES:
OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
By: William D. Weinreb, Aloke Chakravarty and
Nadine Pellegrini, Assistant U.S. Attorneys
John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse
Suite 9200
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
- and UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
By: Steven D. Mellin, Assistant U.S. Attorney
Capital Case Section
1331 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
On Behalf of the Government
FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER OFFICE
By: Miriam Conrad, William W. Fick and Timothy G. Watkins,
Federal Public Defenders
51 Sleeper Street
Fifth Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
- and CLARKE & RICE, APC
By: Judy Clarke, Esq.
1010 Second Avenue
Suite 1800
San Diego, California 92101
- and LAW OFFICE OF DAVID I. BRUCK
By: David I. Bruck, Esq.
220 Sydney Lewis Hall
Lexington, Virginia 24450
On Behalf of the Defendant

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P R O C E E D I N G S

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* * *

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THE COURT:

First, I want to acknowledge the presence

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of a number of the jurors and alternates who participated in

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the trial of this case.

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my practice, after a verdict in every criminal trial, to talk

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informally with the discharged jurors, principally to thank

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them again personally for their service.

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such occasions to invite them to return to attend the

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They are here at my invitation.

It is

It is my habit on

sentencing hearing, and sometimes they do.

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Consistent with that practice, I extended a similar

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invitation to the jurors in this case to attend.

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see, many of them accepted and are here.

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interested and because we have limited public seating in the

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courtroom, as a courtesy and as a gesture of respect for their

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service, I authorized them to sit in the jury box.

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to emphasize, of course, that they are present now simply as

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members of the public.

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of citizens who are here, each in his or her individual

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capacity.

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now-former jurors for their exceptional service.

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As you can

Because so many were

I do want

They are no longer a jury, but a group

Nonetheless, I take this occasion again to thank the

Much of the evidence in this case was hard to hear and

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see.

We made great demands on their time and asked them to

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insulate themselves from potential extraneous influences in

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ways that an ordinary person would find difficult or

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uncomfortable.

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their daily routines and to spend a long time away from work

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and other pursuits.

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responsibility to set aside any preconceived ideas, and instead

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to reason from the evidence presented in this trial to any

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conclusions and not the other way around.

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We asked them to make significant changes to

We also asked them to accept the

Above all, we asked them, as they acted to perform

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their high duty, to be utterly fair and impartial in their

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deliberations.

Their careful verdict satisfies me that they

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did what they were asked to do.

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possible verdict, but it is certainly a rational one on the

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evidence.

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Theirs was not the only

That they performed their duty so well and faithfully

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came as no surprise to me.

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trials in this state for more than 30 years, and I know how

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seriously Massachusetts jurors take the responsibilities of

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jury service.

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this case that would accept and perform their high duty

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conscientiously and justly.

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I've been presiding over jury

I had no doubt that we could select a jury for

The proof is in the pudding.

This was an extraordinary case.

Those of us who sat

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through it from beginning to end saw and heard things we will

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never forget, both good and bad.

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the victims of these crimes and their individual stories.

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appreciate the presentations made here today.

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deal of courage to stand up in this setting and to make such

First, we will never forget
We

It takes a good

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intensely personal statements.

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Today's presentations were relatively brief.

We had a

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fuller opportunity to see and hear those victims who testified

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as witnesses during the trial.

Their courage throughout their

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extended ordeal was exemplary.

We were impressed by their

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dignity.

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unfolded, one after another victims, who themselves were

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grievously wounded, worried about someone else:

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parent, a child, a friend.

What I'll never forget is how, as the tragic events

a spouse, a

Concern for others was everywhere

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on display that day, even from people who were themselves

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experiencing the deepest anguish.

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We will all remember the heroes.

And there were many.

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One thing that particularly stands out for me, for example, is

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that when Boston police officers like Lauren Woods and Tommy

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Barrett saw people running away from danger, they ran toward

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it, not knowing what they would encounter.

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Watertown police officers put their lives on the line in the

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shootout on Laurel Street.

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Days later,

But it was not just those who had official duties.

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After the explosions, people in the crowd immediately responded

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to help where they could.

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someone at the scene spontaneously taking off his belt to use

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it as a makeshift tourniquet for one of the injured, or using a

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drink to try to douse burning clothing, or simply trying to

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give comfort to one of the injured?

How many times did we hear of

Nor can we forget the

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bravery of Dun Meng, whose courageous escape was the beginning

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of the end for the fugitive brothers.

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The medical response was similarly heroic, from the

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EMTs to the nurses and doctors in the medical tents and at the

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hospitals.

I have two particularly vivid memories from the

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testimony:

One was EMS Chief Hooley's description of the red,

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yellow, green triage process at the medical tent, crucial

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life-or-death decisions being made instantly because they had

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to be; the other was Dr. Heather Studley's testimony about how

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she and her team at Mount Auburn literally revived Dic Donohue

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after what might have been regarded as clinical death.

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Finally, I commend what appears from this vantage

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point to have been the meticulous professionalism of the law

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enforcement post-crime investigation.

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hitches and glitches.

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collection and analysis of evidence was extraordinary.

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want a real-life example of looking for a needle in a haystack,

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how about looking for a knapsack in a landfill?

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I'm sure there were

There always are.

But the painstaking

Those are some of the good things I'll remember.

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bad things, however, will be even harder to forget.

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those now as I address the defendant.

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characters observes:

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The good is oft interred with their bones."

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

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If you

The

I turn to

One of Shakespeare's

"The evil that men do lives after them.
So it will be for

Whenever your name is mentioned, what will be

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remembered is the evil you have done.

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that your teachers were fond of you.

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your friends found you funny and fun to be with.

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say you were a talented athlete or that you displayed

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compassion in being a Best Buddy or that you showed more

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respect to your women friends than your male peers did.

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will be remembered is that you murdered and maimed innocent

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people and that you did it willfully and intentionally.

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did it on purpose.

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No one will remember
No one will mention that
No one will

What

You

You tried to justify it to yourself by redefining what

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it is to be an innocent person so that you could convince

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yourself that Martin Richard was not innocent, that Lingzi Lu

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was not innocent, and the same for Krystle Campbell and Sean

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Collier and, therefore, they could be, should be killed.

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was a monstrous self-deception.

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redefine yourself as well.

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humanity, the common humanity that you shared with your brother

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Martin and your sister Lingzi.

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It

To accomplish it, you had to

You had to forget your own

It appears that you and your brother both did so under

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the influence of the preaching of Anwar al-Awlaki and others

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like him.

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you succumbed to that diabolical siren song.

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leaders but misleaders.

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glory but to a judgment of condemnation.

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It is tragic, for your victims and now for you, that
Such men are not

They induced you not to a path to

In Verdi's opera Otello, the evil Iago tries to

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justify his malice.

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believe in a cruel god."

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smiles on and rewards the deliberate killing and maiming of

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innocents believes in a cruel god.

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the god of Islam.

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has been maliciously and willfully deceived.

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"Credo in un Dio crudel," he sings.

"I

Surely someone who believes that God

That is not, it cannot be,

Anyone who has been led to believe otherwise

Mr. Tsarnaev, if you would stand, please.
* * *

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C E R T I F I C A T E

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I, Marcia G. Patrisso, RMR, CRR, Official Reporter of

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the United States District Court, do hereby certify that the

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foregoing transcript constitutes, to the best of my skill and

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ability, a true and accurate transcription of my stenotype

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notes taken in the matter of Criminal Action No. 13-10200-GAO,

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United States of America v. Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev.

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/s/ Marcia G. Patrisso
MARCIA G. PATRISSO, RMR, CRR
Official Court Reporter
Date:

6/24/15