Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors Skeptical of Tsarnaev's Apology

One survivor disagreed and felt the bomber was being honest

Two Boston Marathon bombing survivors said they did not feel convicted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's apology in court on Wednesday was genuine.

"He said he was remorseful," survivor Scott Weisberg said after Judge George O'Toole Jr. formally sentenced Tsarnaev to death. "I find that hard to believe since I've come to a lot of the trial and never really saw that at all from him. It really does not change anything for me. I think he spoke because people were sort of expecting that of him. I don't think he was genuine."

"A simple, believable apology would've been great," added bombing survivor Lynn Julian. "There was nothing simple that he said and nothing sincere."

Survivor Henry Borgard, however, said he wants to believe that Tsarnaev's apology was sincere.

"I was actually really happy that he made the statement," Borgard said. "I have forgiven him. I have come to a place of peace and I genuinely hope that he does as well. For me to hear him say that he's sorry, that is enough for me. And I hope - because I still do have faith in humanity, including him - I hope that his words were genuine, I hope they were heartfelt. I'm going to take it on faith that what he said was genuine.

"I was really profoundly affected, really deeply moved that he did do that. His statement, like ours, takes courage."

In May, the jury condemned Tsarnaev to die for setting off the two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line with his older brother, Tamerlan. Tsarnaev was also found guilty in the shooting death of an MIT police officer.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz was also asked for her opinion on Tsarnaev's statement, and said what struck her was what the convicted bomber didn't say.

"He didn't renounce terrorism, he didn't renounce violent extremism," she said.

"He did this for political reasons," added Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb, the lead prosecutor in the case.

Ortiz also spoke of the strength, courage and resiliency shown by the survivors of the bombing.

"In the courtroom today, I felt proud not just to be a Bostonian, but also to be an American," she said. 

Vincent Lisi, the FBI's special agent in charge, echoed those sentiments.

"I hope today's proceedings can serve as a milestone as they continue their healing process," he said.

A bouquet of yellow flowers, a symbol of "Boston Strong," adorned the Boston Marathon finish line Wednesday after the sentencing. Necn asked those at the finish line for their reaction.

"It's not good enough. He should be punished for what he did," said Steve Maloney of Randolph.

"I would say he deserves to burn in hell," said another passerby.

"I think he should have apologized long ago, and right now it's too late to apologize, the harm's been done," added Boston resident Zeenat Iqbal.

One thing is for certain, though, people who pass by the finish line say the pain of what happened here will always be remembered.

They say Boston is a resilient city, one that looks forward to the future, but remembers the lives lost in the bombings.

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