POLITICS
05/15/2015 04:07 pm ET Updated May 15, 2015

Loretta Lynch: Death Penalty For Dzhokar Tsarnaev Is 'Fitting Punishment'

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Friday that a jury's decision to sentence Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was appropriate.

The jury sentenced Tsarnaev to death on 6 of the 17 counts he was charged with in connection to his involvement in the 2013 Boston Marathon attacks, including use of a weapon of mass destruction, bombing of a public place and malicious destruction of property. The government had sought the death penalty in the case. The only alternative sentence could have been life without parole.

"We know all too well that no verdict can heal the souls of those who lost loved ones, nor the minds and bodies of those who suffered life-changing injuries from this cowardly attack. But the ultimate penalty is a fitting punishment for this horrific crime and we hope that the completion of this prosecution will bring some measure of closure to the victims and their families," Lynch said in a statement after the sentence was announced.

During her confirmation hearing, Lynch said that she thought the death penalty was an "effective penalty."

The jury reached the decision on Friday after deliberating for 14 hours over three days.

Read Lynch's full statement below:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev coldly and callously perpetrated a terrorist attack that injured hundreds of Americans and ultimately took the lives of three individuals: Krystle Marie Campbell, a 29-year-old native of Medford; Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student from China; and Martin Richard, an 8-year-old boy from Dorchester who was watching the marathon with his family just a few feet from the second bomb. In the aftermath of the attack, Tsarnaev and his brother murdered Sean Collier, a 27-year-old patrol officer on the MIT campus, extinguishing a life dedicated to family and service.

We know all too well that no verdict can heal the souls of those who lost loved ones, nor the minds and bodies of those who suffered life-changing injuries from this cowardly attack. But the ultimate penalty is a fitting punishment for this horrific crime and we hope that the completion of this prosecution will bring some measure of closure to the victims and their families. We thank the jurors for their service, the people of Boston for their vigilance, resilience and support and the law enforcement community in Boston and throughout the country for their important work.

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