Feds to seek death penalty for accused Boston Marathon bomber
Accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be put to death if he is found guilty of planting bombs that killed three people and wounded 264 at the Boston Marathon last year, the U.S. government’s chief prosecutor said on Thursday.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that he was authorizing trial prosecutors to seek the death penalty against Tsarnaev, who is charged with committing one of the largest attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.
“The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision,” Holder said. Holder had faced a Friday deadline for deciding whether to seek the death penalty as part of Tsarnaev’s upcoming trial in Boston.
Government prosecutors said in a filing with the U.S. District Court in Boston that reasons for Holder’s decision included that the killings were premeditated, cruel, and that Tsarnaev had shown a lack of remorse.
Prosecutors say that Tsarnaev, 20, and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan planted a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the race’s crowded finish line on April 15, 2013, killing three people — including an 8-year-old boy. The blast also wounded 264 others, many of whom lost limbs.Three nights later, the ethnic Chechen brothers killed a university police officer and later engaged in a shootout with police that left Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead, prosecutors say. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was later found hiding in a boat.The blasts killed 8-year-old Martin Richard as well as Krystle Campbell, 29, and Chinese national Lu Lingzi, 23. Tsarnaev is also accused in the shooting death of Sean Collier, 27, the university police officer.