Dzhokhar Tsarnaev addressed the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings in court on Wednesday before he formally received the death penalty.

Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Apologizes

Tsarnaev broke his silence for the first time, admitting that he and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were behind the attacks that killed three people and injured over 260 others. Tsarnaev addressed the court at his sentencing Wednesday, June 24, over two years after the bombing took place.

“I would like to now apologize to the victims and to the survivors. Immediately after the bombing, of which I am guilty of, there is little doubt about that. I learned their faces, their names,” Tsarnaev reportedly told the court.

“You told us just how unbearable it was, this thing I put you through. Now, I am sorry for the lives that I have taken,” he continued.

Tsarnaev was found guilty by a jury earlier this year, and on May 15, the jury determined that he should be given the death penalty for his role in the terrorist attack. On Wednesday, Judge George O’Toole formally sentenced Tsarnaev to death, telling him, “No one will remember your teachers were fond of you… What will be remembered is that you murdered and maimed innocent people and that you did it willfully and intentionally. You did it on purpose.”

“I am a Muslim. My religion is Islam. I pray to Allah to show his mercy to the deceased in this bombing,” Tsarnaev declared in court. “I ask Allah to have mercy upon me, my brother and my family.”

Before Tsarnaev addressed the court, victims of the Boston Marathon bombings were invited to speak directly to Tsarnaev. Twenty-four survivors, or family members or representatives, chose to appear in court to confront Tsarnaev.

“I will never have a complete family again,” said Jennifer Rogers, whose brother, Sean Collier, was shot to death during the chase for the Tsarnaev brothers. “The defendant not only has taken Sean away from me; he has taken me away from me,” Collier added.

Other victims said they forgave Tsarnaev, but most stood defiant. “You made us stronger. We are Boston strong and America strong, and choosing to mess with us was a bad idea. How was that for your victim impact statement?” said Rebekah Gregory, who lost a leg in the attacks.

Tsarnaev will now be sent to Indiana, where he is to be held in the federal government’s death row under the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Service while he appeals the decision.

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