Jury finds Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of 2013 Boston bombings

Boston: A US jury today unanimously convicted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of carrying out the 2013 Boston bombings, the worst attack in the US since the 9/11 Al-Qaeda hijackings.

The 12-person jury took a day and a half to find the 21-year-old guilty, using a 32-page verdict form of 30 counts related to the attacks, the murder of a police officer, a car jacking and shootout while on the run.

The Muslim immigrant of Chechen descent, who took US citizenship in 2012, now faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole when he is sentenced by the same jury after a later second phase of the trial.

An undated file image of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev released by FBI. Pic/ AFP

He stood pale and motionless next to his lawyers as he heard the verdict dressed in a blue sweater and dark blazer.

Three people were killed and 264 others wounded, including 17 who lost limbs, in the twin blasts at the city's marathon on April 15, 2013.

Tsarnaev was arrested four days later, hiding and injured in a boat on which he had scrawled a bloody message apparently justifying the attacks to avenge the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The marathon bombings shocked the relatively small northeastern city of Boston and revived fears of terrorism in the United States after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Government prosecutors portrayed Tsarnaev, at the time a 19-year-old student at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, as a callous terrorist who carried out the bombings to punish the United States.

Tsarnaev's lawyers admitted that he planted one of the pressure-cooker bombs concealed in a backpack, but portrayed him as a feckless accomplice, bullied or manipulated into taking part by his more radical elder brother.

The defendant looked pale as he entered court to hear the verdict dressed in a blue sweater and dark blazer. His lawyer Judy Clarke gave him a brief pat on the back as he sat down.

Seventeen of the charges -- one to 10 and 12 to 18 -- carry the possibility of the death penalty.

Massachusetts has not executed anyone since 1947, and Roman Catholic bishops in the state reiterated their opposition to the death penalty on Monday, when the first phase of the trial wrapped up.

Prosecutors spent four weeks building their case, calling 92 witnesses in an effort to paint Tsarnaev as an active and willing bomber alongside his elder brother, who was killed by police while on the run.

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