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Tsarnaev Jury Delivers Guilty Verdicts After Weeks Of Haunting Testimony04:22
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In this courtroom sketch, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, second from left, is depicted standing with his defense attorneys William Fick, left, Judy Clarke, second from right, and David Bruck, right, as the jury presents its verdict in his federal death penalty trial. The jury found Tsarnaev guilty. (Jane Flavell Collins/AP)
In this courtroom sketch, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, second from left, is depicted standing with his defense attorneys William Fick, left, Judy Clarke, second from right, and David Bruck, right, as the jury presents its verdict in his federal death penalty trial. The jury found Tsarnaev guilty. (Jane Flavell Collins/AP)
This article is more than 5 years old.

It's clear the government made its case in the first phase of the Boston Marathon bombing trial.

It took jurors only a day and a half to find Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts. The 21-year-old faces either life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

As the clerk read the verdicts Wednesday, neither Tsarnaev or his attorneys, nor the prosecution or the bombing survivors in the courtroom, showed surprise. But there was drama in the delivery of those verdicts.

The jury — seven women and five men — filed into the courtroom a week short of the second anniversary of the bombings.

The testimony in this case had exposed them to more horror in one day than most people see in a lifetime, and there had been 16 searing days. Videos and still shots from a day stained red with gore and severed limbs just short of the finish line.

A day and a half of deliberations followed days of stories the jurors heard from witnesses as haunting and heartrending as any juror ever will hear. A young mother, Rebekah Gregory, testified that in the moments after the blast from the first bomb threw her into the air, she realized, “My bones were lying next to me on the sidewalk.” She said she lifted her hand to comfort her injured son, but saw it was torn apart.

The jurors could see the survivors in the courtroom. Close by, as the forewoman handed their verdict slip to the clerk, was Bill Richard, whose story from the stand had left the jurors crying. On the day of the bombing, he had three children but only two arms to rescue them from the blast, so he left his dying 8-year-old son, Martin, to save the others.

Having heard and seen so much in the courtroom, the jurors reacted in ways parallel to the survivors.

Liz Norden is the mother of two sons who both lost their right legs.

"It's been difficult. You know it was a lot that happened that day, what those people endured and saw it was just, you know, terrible," she said, speaking outside after the verdicts. "So to relive it and see what they went through was unbelievable."

Inside the courtroom the jurors never looked at the defendant while the clerk began reading their verdicts:

"As to Count One of the indictment charging conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, we unanimously find the defendant guilty."

That the verdicts were expected, that the defendant had already admitted at the start of testimony that, "it was him," did not lessen the drama of their voice expressed in those verdicts.

"Use of a weapon of mass destruction. Guilty." "Bombing of a public place. Guilty."

It was 2:09 in the afternoon when the verdicts started; it was 2:35 when they ended, 30 counts later. The defendant was as impassive as he had been throughout the trial.

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Karen Brassard, left, speaks alongside Laurie Scher, middle, and Mike Ward after the guilty verdicts were issued Wednesday. (Steven Senne/AP)
Boston Marathon bombing survivor Karen Brassard, left, speaks alongside Laurie Scher, middle, and Mike Ward after the guilty verdicts were issued Wednesday. (Steven Senne/AP)

Outside the courthouse, one survivor, Karen Brassard, spoke on behalf of the others.

"I’m grateful to have him off the street. I’m grateful to show everyone, the world that it's not tolerated. This is not how we behave," she said.

On April 15, 2013, shrapnel from one of Tsarnaev's bombs had injured Bressard and her daughter and severed one of her husband's arteries. She said the jurors' verdicts had brought them another step toward recovery.

"But we're all going to move on with our lives and we're all going to get back to some sense of normalcy, hopefully, when this is all done," she said.

In the long reading of the charges, from count to count, the clerk repeated four names, the names of the murdered victims: 27-year-old MIT police Officer Sean Collier, 29-year-old Krystle Marie Campbell, 23-year-old Lingzi Lu and 8-year-old Martin Richard.

In their names, the jurors had spoken: Tsarnaev was guilty, guilty, guilty.

This segment aired on April 9, 2015.

David Boeri Twitter Senior Reporter
Now retired, David Boeri was a senior reporter at WBUR.

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