"Undoubtedly, I'm shocked over Dzhokhar Tsarnaev getting the death penalty. I believe that the United States discredits itself and that every death sentence is a blow to the image of the United States, which considers itself a country moving toward democracy," Ponomaryov said.
In his view, the US could be quick to abolish the death penalty in all its states in order to be in line with the image the US is touting. Ponomaryov pointed to certain historical circumstances, claiming that the US emerged as a union of armed men.
"Unfortunately, these traditions have been preserved and they currently persist. I think that in this sense, the United States could learn from Europe," he said.
Ponomaryov, who is an executive director of the all-Russian movement For Human Rights, expressed hope that all the states in the US will finally abolish capital punishment.
The same jury sentenced Tsarnaev to death on six counts for the bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260 on April 15, 2013. The verdict included use of a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a public place.