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Tsarnaev apologizes at sentencing hearing

On Wednesday, a federal judge officially sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death.
Victims

BOSTON, Massachusetts (NEWS CENTER) -- At the official sentencing hearing Wednesday, convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev apologized for his actions before the judge sentenced him to death.

"I am sorry for the lives that I have taken, the suffering that I have caused you, the damage that I've done," said Tsarnaev, while crying.

"Immediately after the bombing, of which I am guilty of, there is little doubt about that, I learned their faces, their names."

He went on to thank the jury and his attorneys. He finished by asking Allah for forgiveness.

"I ask Allah to have mercy on me, my brother and my family. I ask Allah to have mercy on the Umah. Thank you."

As he finished speaking, Denise Richard, the mother of the youngest person killed, sighed deeply and then dropped her head.

It was the first time victims, Boston or the public had heard directly from Tsarnaev since his arrest in April 2013.

Last month, a jury convicted Tsarnaev for the 2013 bombings that killed Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, and Krystle Campbell. He is also convicted in the death of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, who was killed just days after the bombings during the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers.

Before he addressed the court, many survivors and the victims' families took the stand, to explain to Tsarnaev and the federal judge how their lives have changed.

Sean Collier's sister took the stand first and recounted how she found out about her brother's death. She told the court that her once happy and loving family is gone due to "pure hate."

"I don't really know what makes me happy anymore," Collier's sister explained. "An emptiness I can't seem to fill."

Collier's sister said Tsarnaev will never feel truly sorry, explaining he hid behind his dead brother and never fully took responsibility.

The parents of the youngest victim, Martin Richard, address the court next, they said Tsarnaev chose to do nothing, chose hate, chose destruction and chose death.

The hearing continued with more victims taking the stand, including officer Dic Donahue who explained his road to recovery and his inability to care for his young son, following the 2013 bombing. Donahue said, "The defendant didn't succeed in all his actions..I'm still standing here. His attack are no less than treason against the U.S."

Mainer Karen Rand-McWatters also testified. She called Tsarnaev a coward for blaming his dead brother for the bombings. She also told Tsarnaev he will never see his family again and that he will die alone.

And another victim at the finish line explained how he was celebrating just minutes before the bomb went off. Michael Chase explained how after the second bomb went off he covered his wife in fear of more bombs.

"Boylston Street became Baghdad," he explained.

At the end of the hearing, the judge asked Tsarnaev to stand up, and said "I sentence you to death by execution."

Tsarnaev's lawyer Judy Clarke requested for the execution to be in New Hampshire and not Terre Haute, Indiana, where the government had requested. Terre Haute is the federal prison equipped to execute prisoners, and is where most death row inmates are held. However, no official assignment was made Wednesday.