After a grueling day in court, a surprising apology was given by Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The 21-year-old convicted of the Boston Marathon bombing apologized to the victims after the judge formally imposed a penalty of death by execution Wednesday.
Tsarnaev said that he wanted to apologize to the survivors and the victims in court, Washington Post . “I am sorry for the lives I have taken and suffering I have caused you and the damage I have done,” Tsarnaev said.
In addition, Tsarnaev said, “I prayed for Allah to bestow his mercy upon the deceased, those affected in the bombing and their families. Allah says in the Quran that with every hardship there is relief. I pray for your relief, for your healing, for your well-being, for your strength.”
Along with the apology, he admitted that he was guilty. He added that he learned about some of the victims after the bombing. “I learned their names, their faces, their ages…And they had hearts and souls,” he said.
Some of those victims responded to his apology. Lynn Julian, a victim who lived a block from the finish line, did not buy it. Julian said that she had no remorse, no empathy and no regret for what he did. She said that she regrets “having ever wanted to hear him speak.”
Julian reportedly suffered back wounds, hearing loss and traumatic brain injury from the bombing and now she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to NBC News. She said that she was only looking for a “believable apology.”
Scott Weisburg, an Alabama physician and victim who suffered a head injury from the attack, did not believe the apology either. He said the apology “did not change anything” for him and it was not “genuine.”
Other victims, such as Henry Bogard, have chosen to forgive Tsarnaev. “I have forgiven him. I have come to a place of peace and I genuinely hope that he does as well. And for me to hear him say that he’s sorry; that is enough for me,” he said.
Tsarnaev and his older brother–who was killed during a getaway attempt–set off bombs at the finish line of the race on April 15, 2013 injuring more than 260, killing three and mortifying the city of Boston. Up until this point, the only words he had bothered to say were “not guilty” at his arraignment.
The only other insight into what was happening in his mind was found on a note in the boat he was discovered hiding in. The note said that the U.S. government was killing innocent Muslims and he could not see “such evil go unpunished.”