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

in Music

10 of the most memorable MTV Video Music Awards moments

mileycyrusvma

Since debuting in 1984, the MTV Video Music Awards have prided themselves on being a stage for all things hip - and often - controversial.

in Music

This week’s top R&B tracks

jnaetjackson

LISTEN: This week's top R&B tracks, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Entertainment

‘Siri, can you give me a hint?’ Apple confirms September event

16-overlay14

The rumors are true: Apple will host an event Sept. 9 in San Francisco.

in Viral Videos

This is one way to get a tan

10-overlay22

It's summer and the beaches are packed - so this guy got some private sunbathing time while sky high.

in Entertainment

Netflix drug drama ‘Narcos’ blurs line between cartels, agents

11-overlay7

Not all cops are good guys and not all drug suppliers are obvious villains in the dark drug drama "Narcos," a bilingual examination of the history of cocaine smuggling in America and its most menacing supplier.