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Death Penalty

Nun portrayed in Dead Man Walking movie says Boston bomber is remorseful

A jury will decide if he should be sentenced to death or life without parole.

CONVICTED BOSTON BOMBER Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has expressed sincere remorse for carrying out the deadly attacks in 2013, a prominent American nun and anti-death penalty campaigner told his trial yesterday.

Sister Helen Prejean, who was portrayed in an Oscar-winning performance by actress Susan Sarandon in Hollywood movie “Dead Man Walking,” was the final witness called by the defense in its bid to save Tsarnaev from death.

Boston Marathon Bombing Death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean departs federal court in Boston after testifying during the penalty phase in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial. Elise Amendola Elise Amendola

“He said emphatically, ‘no one deserves to suffer like they did,’” the 76-year-old testified at the trial in Boston, according to The New York Times.

Prejean said she had met Tsarnaev in prison five times since March and that she believed he was “absolutely sincere.”

Untitled Susan Sarandon played Prejean in the movie Dead Man Walking. Akhtar Rind Akhtar Rind

Tsarnaev’s voice had “pain in it” when he recognised the hurt he had caused, she recalled.

“I had every reason to think he was taking it in and he was genuinely sorry for what he did.”

It was the first mention of the 21-year-old expressing remorse for his actions since his trial began in March.

The only emotion he has displayed was to wipe his eyes as a distraught aunt was removed from the courtroom, too overcome to testify.

Prejean won international recognition as a compassionate Catholic nun who spoke to a convicted murderer on death row in the state of Louisiana, which inspired the book and film “Dead Man Walking.”

The film won Sarandon the Oscar for best actress in 1996 and three Academy Award nominations, including best actor for Sean Penn.

Boston Marathon Bombing AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Tsarnaev was convicted last month on all 30 counts related to the bombings, the murder of a police officer, a carjacking and a shootout while he and his older brother Tamerlan were on the run.

The double bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line killed three people and wounded 264 others on April 15, 2013.

The defense and prosecution are to present closing statements onWednesday before a jury deliberates whether he should be sentenced to death or life without parole in America’s most maximum security prison.

Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police, leaving his brother to face punishment alone.

© AFP, 2015

Read: Prosecutors use photo of Boston bomber giving the finger to push for death penalty>

Read: Boston bomber “wanted to terrorise America” court is told>

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