News

Prosecutors will seek death penalty against Boston bomb suspect

Prosecutors will seek death penalty against Boston bomb suspect

BOSTON BOMBING SUSPECT: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Photo: Reuters

By David Ingram

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – 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 the September 11, 2001, attacks.

“The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision,” Holder said.

Holder faced a Friday deadline for deciding whether to seek the death penalty as part of Tsarnaev’s upcoming trial.

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 and wounding 264.

Three nights later, the pair killed a university police officer and later engaged in a shootout with police that left Tamerlan dead, prosecutors say.

The younger Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in the worst mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. Justice Department officials said the nearly seven months since was necessary to evaluate fully the circumstances of the case and to gather recommendations from prosecutors advising Holder.

Holder has said he is not a proponent of the death penalty because he believes its value as a deterrent is questionable, but since becoming attorney general in 2009, he has authorized prosecutors to seek the death penalty in 36 cases, according to the Justice Department.

(Editing by Howard Goller, James Dalgleish and G Crosse)

Recent Headlines

6 hours ago in Local

A Hand Up for Minority Business

local_news_generic

ADME program

7 hours ago in Local

Memorial, St John’s Owed $76M

medical

State budget impasse is to blame

7 hours ago in Local

Opposition Mounts against Dunkin

ken dunkin

Republicans would welcome him

7 hours ago in Local

“Four Tops” Meet This Week

state_capitol_3

Rauner promises, but won't specify, compromises

1 day ago in Local

Chicago Officer Sues Estate of Teen He Shot, Claiming Trauma

wtax 011015

A white Chicago police officer who fatally shot a black 19-year-old college student and accidently killed a neighbor has filed a lawsuit against the teenager's estate, arguing the shooting left him traumatized.