A sorry sorry from Tsarnaev

Everyone knew yesterday was the day Dzhokhar Tsarnaev would be formally sentenced to death. No one seemed to expect that he would choose to address the court, never mind say, “I am sorry for the lives I’ve taken.”

But in a halting, sometimes barely audible voice, Tsarnaev uttered his first words in public since pleading not guilty to the Boston Marathon bombing charges in 2013. He spoke of the “irreparable damage” he did, of the “suffering” he caused, and of learning the names and faces of his victims during the months of courtroom testimony.

It all seemed a bit too little, too late for most. Peter Gelzinis could only think of the Peggy Lee song, “Is That All There Is.”

“OK. Whatever,” writes Kevin Cullen, unmoved by Tsarnaev’s 11th-hour mea culpa.

It was hard for many to see sincerity in his words after weeks of watching Tsarnaev joke with his lawyers and display a look of detached indifference during the wrenching testimony and presentation of photos and video of the trail of death and destruction he cut through the region.

Jim Braude zeroed in on the fact that Tsarnaev apologized “but never said what he did was wrong.”

“We didn’t hear a word about the reasons he did this crime,” said Assistant US Attorney William Weinreb, the lead prosecutor in the case, following the court session. “He never renounced terrorism, he did not repudiate violent extremism.”

Tsarnaev offered a lot of religious invocations, and then declared, “Allah knows best those deserving his mercy.”

Cullen says that didn’t sit with Karen Brassard, who was badly injured in the bombings along with her husband and daughter. Brassard told him following the hearing that she thought the “implication was he deserved mercy, not us.”

Knowing just what Tsarnaev was thinking yesterday was about as hard as knowing what went through his mind the day he decided to place a backpack on Boylston Street that would kill an always smiling 8-year-old Martin Richard and rip his younger sister’s leg off.

It was left to their father, Bill Richard, to make clear what distinguishes Tsarnaev from those whose lives he did “irreparable damage” to.

“He could have stopped his brother,” Richard said of Tsarnaev’s dead brother Tamerlan, delivering one of more than 20 victim impact statements heard in court. “He chose to do nothing to prevent all this from happening. He chose hate. He chose destruction. He chose death. We choose love. We choose kindness. We choose peace. This is our response to hate. That’s what makes us different from him.”

–MICHAEL JONAS

 

BEACON HILL

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey calls the shootings in Charleston “racial terrorism.” (CommonWealth)

Yvonne Abraham says the Massachusetts state flag has problems of its own. (Boston Globe)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

A professional government management association has censured Shawn Cadime, the Seekonk town administrator and former Fall River city administrator, for violating the group’s tenets by running for Fall River mayor last year while serving in an administrator position. (Herald News)

OLYMPICS

US Olympic Committee officials tell Boston 2024 they are encouraged by the changes in the bid, the Globe reports.

Lowell gets three events under Boston 2024’s new plan — taekwondo, fencing, and, according to the local state senator, rowing. But Worcester, which landed handball, thinks Lake Quinsigamond should be the rowing venue. (Telegram & Gazette) Boston College, Harvard, and Northeastern are selected for seven events. (WBUR)

Questions are being raised about the potential environmental impacts of Olympic beach volleyball, proposed for an area of the Quincy shore that is part of the Neponset River Estuary and was designated by the state in 1995 as an “area of critical environmental concern.” (Boston Herald)

GAMBLING

The state’s first casino-style gambling facility draws a crowd as it opens for business in Plainville. (Boston Herald)

MGM Springfield may have to delay its 2017 opening due to work on the I-91 viaduct, currently scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2018. (MassLive)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Obamacare tax subsidies upheld by a divided US Supreme Court. (Bloomberg)

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan vows to veto an $11.3 billion budget approved by the Republican-controlled legislature, calling the measure fiscally irresponsible. (Eagle-Tribune)

The state attorneys general, by launching joint lawsuits, have become de facto national policymakers. (Governing)

President Obama tells a heckler at an LGBT Pride Month event at the White House to either quiet down or be removed. “You’re in my house,” he said. (New York Times)

Why the US should worry more about terrorism committed by Americans against Americans over homegrown issues than the international variety. (Christian Science Monitor)

ELECTIONS

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose popularity at home has plummeted because of spiraling budget deficits, officially joined the cast of thousands running for the Republican presidential nomination. (New York Times)

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin signs into law legislation eliminating a 48-hour waiting period for buying handguns. (Governing)

EDUCATION

A new report from an advocacy group says Congress has cut K-12 education spending by more than 20 percent since 2011, more than five times the reduction to overall spending. (U.S. News & World Report)

The Brockton schools superintendent said 70 teachers will be laid off, as well as 60 classroom staff such as paraprofessionals, because of budget woes. Officials had originally sent out layoff notices to 173 teachers. (The Enterprise)

HEALTH CARE

California becomes the first state in the nation to cap how much patients have to pay for pricey drugs. (Governing)

In advance of the anticipated Supreme Court ruling on the legality of some subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, the New York Times examines the success of the allowance and determines they have achieved the goal of insuring those most in need.

Former hospital CEO Paul Levy offers an anecdote about the dangers of the continued lack of electronic records transferability between hospitals despite more than $29 billion spent by the federal government to address the issue. (Not Running a Hospital)

The state’s first medicinal marijuana dispensary opens its doors in Salem. (Salem News) Alternative Therapies Group was charging $371 an ounce. (Boston Globe) Massachusetts has the “most conservative” quality testing regime in the US. (Boston Business Journal)

TRANSPORTATION

A Brookline taxi company goes under — amidst the rise of Uber and Lyft. (Brookline Tab) Angry taxi drivers in Paris go on a rampage about unfair competition from Uber. (The Independent)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York says a US carbon tax has a chance if Hillary Clinton is elected president. (Politico)

A report from an environmental advocacy group says Massachusetts is getting a good deal — and good environmental benefits — from its net metering program that encourages the growth of the solar energy sector. (Boston Herald)

A five-foot long timber rattlesnake, an endangered species in Massachusetts, was found outside a Braintree office building and relocated by environmental officials deeper into the Blue Hills. (Patriot Ledger)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

A loophole in a state law regulating massage parlors is allowing many such establishments, which are allegedly covers for prostitution operations, to go unmonitored. (Boston Herald)

A State Trooper who helped save the life of a 10-month-old boy more than 30 years ago has a second meeting with him — as he’s now a fellow State Police officer. (Boston Herald)

MEDIA

The House passed a bill requiring newspapers to run legal notices of government hearings online as well as in print. (State House News)

PBS has suspended the program Finding Your Roots, which is hosted by Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and examines celebrities’ family histories, after an episode about Ben Affleck ran without mention of his ancestors owning slaves. A reference to the Affleck slave connection cut after pressure from the Cambridge-bred actor. (New York Times)