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 Entertainment

‘Frozen’ princess promises to be hot holiday item

frozen

Snow Glow Elsa is one of only four toys to feature on three major guides of top toys for the Christmas season.

in Music

Dr. Dre is king of hip hop with $620M in earnings

drdre

The veteran rapper and producer tops the list as the highest paid hip hop artist, ousting Sean "Diddy" Combs from the top spot.

in Entertainment

American Girl, Rubik’s Cube among Toy Hall of Fame finalists

toyhalloffame

They face off against My Little Pony, the Slip 'N Slide, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and other childhood favorites.

in Entertainment

Jada Pinkett Smith signs on to ‘Magic Mike’ sequel

jada

The star says she has been cast in a role that was initially intended for a man.

in Music

Stars to pay tribute to Mavis Staples

mavisstaples

An all-star lineup will salute Staples during the I'll Take You There - Celebrating 75 Years of Mavis Staples tribute concert on Nov. 19.