Prosecutors to seek death penalty for Boston bombing suspect

2 min

US prosecutors on Thursday said they will seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev if he is found guilty of planting the two bombs that killed three and injured more than 260 during last year’s Boston Marathon.


US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that he was authorising trial prosecutors to seek the death penalty against Tsarnaev, who is charged with committing one of the largest attacks on American 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 allege that Tsarnaev and his older 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 on April 15, 2013.

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

Seventeen of 30 charges against Tsarnaev carry the possibility of the death penalty.

The 20-year-old Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set.


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