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Reactions To Death Penalty For Boston Bomber

Updated at 5:53 p.m.

Reactions are pouring in to the death penalty handed Friday to Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the convicted Boston Marathon bomber.

We will update this post with more reactions as we get them.

Survivors, Families Of Victims Speak

Several survivors of the bombing and the families of the victims held a news conference following the verdict.

Karen Brassard, who survived the bombing, said today "feels different only because it feels more complete."

"It feels like we can take a breath and kind of, actually, breathe again," she said.

She added: "There is nothing happy about having to take somebody's life. I'm satisfied, grateful that they came to that conclusion because for me, I think, it was the just conclusion."

Liz Norden called the verdict "bittersweet."

"There's no winner today, but I feel justice for my family," said Norden, whose sons were severely wounded in the bombing.

"I don't think there were any winners — but there was justice," she said.

Michael Ward, an off-duty firefighter who was at the scene on the day of the bombing, said: "This is nothing to celebrate. This is a matter of justice."

He said Tsarnaev "wanted to go to hell — and he's going to get there early."

The parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy who was the youngest victim of the bombing, opposed the death penalty for Tsarnaev. They wrote in The Boston Globe last month, sentencing Tsarnaev to die "could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives."

They have not yet reacted to the sentencing verdict.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz: 'A Day For Reflection And Healing'

"Our thoughts should now turn away from the Tsarnaev brothers for good," she said.

Ortiz said the verdict showed that "we are not intimated by acts of terror."

"This was not a religious crime. This does not reflect Muslim belief," she said. "It was a political crime designed to intimidate ... the United States."

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh Hopes For 'Closure'

"I want to thank the jurors and the judiciary for their service to our community and our country. I hope this verdict provides a small amount of closure to the survivors, families, and all impacted by the violent and tragic events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon. We will forever remember and honor those who lost their lives and were affected by those senseless acts of violence on our City. Today, more than ever, we know that Boston is a City of hope, strength and resilience, that can overcome any challenge."

Attorney General Loretta Lynch Calls It 'Fitting Punishment'

"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."

John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General For National Security, Calls Tsarnaev 'Unrepentant Terrorist'

"The trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev proved incontrovertibly that he perpetrated a gruesome terror attack at the Boston Marathon that took the lives of three spectators and injured hundreds of men, women and children and later murdered a police officer. Tsarnaev is an unrepentant terrorist held to account by a justice system that provides due process of law even to those who commit the most horrific offenses. We extend our deepest sympathies to all those affected, and hope the conclusion of this trial provides an important measure of justice to those still healing. Tsarnaev's conviction is a result of the tremendous work of countless public servants who worked around the clock to investigate this case, secure the community's safety, and identify the perpetrators. I would also like to thank the members of the jury for their dedicated service in this case."

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Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.
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