The race is on. It’s a race that no one wants to win and by no one, we mean the Federal Government, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or Dzhokar Tsarnev. Two years after two bombs blew up during the Boston Marathon, a jury of Tsarnev’s peers found him guilty.

Not just once.

30 times.

The verdict came almost 36 hours after a jury of seven women and five men started deliberations in the first half of the trial that lasted 17 days. Jurors got to listen to testimony about Tsarnov and his older brother Tamerlan’s plan to “maim and kill Americans in retaliation for the country’s wars on Muslim countries overseas. Government prosecutor Aloke Chakravarty told the jury in his closing “”This was a cold, calculated terrorist act. This was intentional. It was bloodthirsty. It was to make a point. It was to tell America that ‘We will not be terrorized by you anymore. We will terrorize you.’

The testimony was emotional and raw as jurors repeatedly saw horrific photos and videos of the bloody aftermath of the bombs. They also heard heart-wrenching testimony from survivors, including the father of the youngest victim of the attacks—8-year-old Martin Richard–whose body was literally blown apart by the second bomb.

He was look at 30 charges for his role in the bombings, the deadliest act of terrorism on American soil since September 11, 2001 as well as being charged with  shooting and killing Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier days after the attacks and hours after the FBI released photos of him and his brother identifying them as suspects in the bombings. Though prosecutors acknowledged they were unsure which brother pulled the trigger, both were “equally guilty” of Collier’s murder.

The verdict in the case did not come as a shock and Judy Clarke, Tsarnaev’s attorney, admitted her client’s role in the attacks on day one of the trial, which began March 5 and reiterated it during closing arguments this week. “There is no excuse. No one is trying to make one,” Clarke told jurors Monday, calling the attack “inexcusable” and “senseless.”

Instead, she chose to cast the 21-year old as a troubled teen who was under the sway of his radicalized older brother. Tamerlan was painted by the defense as the ringleader of the plot and they also argued that the older Tsarnew, who later died during a shootout with police some days after the attack and built the the bombs, with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev merely as a follower. “We don’t deny that Dzhokhar fully participated in the events,” Clarke said. “But if not for Tamerlan, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Yet Judge George O’Toole placed a somewhat short leash on the defense and limited how much the defense could talk about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s influence on his brother during the guilt phase of the trial. While the government put 92 witnesses on the stand over 16 days, Tsarnaev’s defense rested after just four witnesses over a day and a half in court and Tsarnev chose not to take the stand. Clarke told jurors the defense would lay out more of their case in the penalty phase—when they determine whether the 21-year-old college student receives life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty for his role in the attacks.

It’s also not clear if any members of the Tsarnaev family will testify in the penalty phase and since the trial began with jury selection (known as Voir Dire), not a single member of the Tsarnaev family has been seen at the courthouse—including Tsarnaev’s parents, who live in Dagestan, and his sisters, who live in New Jersey. Last summer, Tsarnaev’s sister, Ailina, told reporters her brothers had been “framed.” Tsarnaev’s uncles, who live in Maryland, also have not been seen in court and did not respond to repeated requests from the media for comment.

The same 12 jurors who decided on Tsarnaev’s guilt will now decide whether he lives or dies for his role in in the attacks. That’s expected to be the trickier dilemma for the jury. While all the jurors that were selected were in agreement that they could consider capital punishment for Tsarnaev, many people in Massachusetts oppose the death penalty for moral and religious reasons. It was declared unconstitutional on the state level in 1982, and though many in Boston are still recovering from the trauma of the attacks, which paralyzed the city for days, residents have mixed feelings about what should happen to Tsarnaev.

While some think that Tsarnev should spend the rest of his life in a Super Max somewhere in the United States, victims of the families and those that were injured and maimed offered mixed feeling about his fate. The Richard family told the Boston Globe that they just want “justice.”

The penalty phase is expected to begin next week. The same 12 people that found him guilty will now decide if the government kills him through lethal injection or if he draws his last breath in a Federal prison. Either way, it’s a race that while no one, not even the government wants to win, is in for the long run. The clock is ticking and time will run out for Tsarnov. It’s now a matter of if he dies a natural death behind bars or if Uncle Sam (or his agent) puts a needle in his arm.

30 charges.

30 guilty verdicts.

The clock is ticking for Dzhokar Tsarnev and he still has to answer to the state charge of killing the MIT campus police officer. He’s a dead man walking as far as the Feds see it. The end will come for Dzhokar Tsarnev. Will that end be at the hands of God or at the hands of the government?

Time only knows. Dzhokar Tsarnev thought he was punishing the people of Boston for actions that were not of their doing. In the end, even though the city was on lockdown for an entire day while they looked for him and lives were disrupted, in the end, Bostonians came out stronger, “Boston Strong,” if you will. In the end, it was the people of Boston that won.

Dzhokar Tsarnev is in a race for his life. He will sit in a prison cell and be told when to wake up, when to eat and when to go to bed. He is in a race that he does not want but has on his hands.

The clock is ticking.

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