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Tsarnaev gets death penalty for 2013 Boston Marathon bombing

A US federal court has sentenced Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death. Ahead of his condemnation, Tsarnaev apologized to his victims, speaking publicly for the first time since the 2013 attack.

In a hearing that was more of a formality after a

jury recommended execution in May

, a federal court in the US city of Boston sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death. Shortly before receiving his sentence, the 21-year-old apologized for setting the bomb that killing three people and wounded more than 260 at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

"I would like to now apologize to the victims and to the survivors," Tsarnaev told the court on Wednesday. "I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering that I have caused you, for the damage I have done, irreparable damage."

Tsarnaev had not spoken in his own defense during the trial. In April, a jury found him guilty of killing three people and injuring 264 in the April 15, 2013, bombing at the world-renowned race, as well as fatally shooting a police officer three days later.

'Blood gets cold'

Earlier Wednesday, a survivor of the Boston Marathon attack said he continued to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder but had found a way to forgive Tsarnaev. "I know how fear feels," Henry Borgard, a student at the time of the attack, told the court. "I know how it feels when it courses through your veins and your blood gets cold."

The United States is one of a relatively few countries to employ the death penalty. Ahead of Tsarnaev's sentencing, opponents of capital punishment

had protested outside the courthouse

, and even some victims and their relatives had called on the judge not to sentence him to death.

Tsarnaev had pleaded not guilty

. Two of his friends

have been given prison sentences

for obstructing the investigation.

He has the right to an appeal the court's verdict.

mkg/sms (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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