Execution sought for Boston Marathon bomber
Federal prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing.
The final decision was made by Attorney General Eric Holder and was announced Thursday. The twin blasts in April killed three people and wounded more than 260 in one of the most prominent terrorist attacks in the U.S since 9/11.
Prosecutors allege that Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, ethnic Chechens from Russia who had lived in the Boston area for about a decade, planted two pressure cooker bombs near the finish line. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a shootout with police.
Seventeen of 30 charges against Tsarnaev carry the possibility of the death penalty, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill.
The 20-year-old Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set.
Tsarnaev is the third person from Massachusetts to face the federal death penalty after the state abolished execution in 1984, but arguably the most well-known.
Tsarnaev, then 19 years old, and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, are accused of planting two pressure cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon on Apr. 15, 2013. According to the Associated Press and ABC News, "The twin blasts killed three people and wounded more than 260 others, and 17 of the 30 federal charges against him -- including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill -- carry the possibility of the death penalty. Tsarnaev also is charged in the slaying of an MIT police officer and the carjacking of a motorist during the brothers' getaway attempt."
ABC News further reports, "Tsarnaev's case has attracted a high-profile defense team, including Judy Clarke, a San Diego attorney who has negotiated plea agreements with prosecutors to spare her clients the death penalty, among them Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph."
A trial date has not yet been set.