Tsarnaev lawyers want secret data on dead brother

FBI photo of Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar TsarnaevLawyers for the accused Boston Marathon bomber on Friday asked a judge to order U.S. prosecutors to hand over more information, including surveillance data, on his late older brother in order to assess the relative blame of each man in the attack.

Dzohkhar Tsarnaev, who is charged with killing three people and injuring 264 with homemade bombs at the April 15, 2013, marathon and shooting dead a university police officer a few days later, faces the threat of execution if convicted of the worst mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.

Defense attorneys said any evidence that suggests older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died after a gunfight with police while the pair were preparing to flee Boston a few days after the attack, could boost the 20-year-old surviving Tsarnaev’s chances of avoiding the death penalty if convicted.

“Any evidence tending to show that Tamerlan supplied the motivation, planning, and ideology behind the Boston Marathon attack, and that his younger brother acted under his domination and control, is ‘material,’” defense attorneys said in one of a series of a filings in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Noting that a Congressional report released on Wednesday showed that U.S. investigated the elder Tsarnaev after a 2011 tip from Russian authorities that he may have become radicalized, defense attorneys asked for any classified information gathered on the elder Tsarnaev.

“Evidence that shows Tamerlan to have had a substantially longer and deeper engagement than his younger brother with extremist and violent ideology is mitigating for the light that it sheds on their relative culpability,” defense lawyers wrote.

Prosecutors have said that they have turned over reams of evidence to Tsarnaev’s attorneys and that the follow-up requests are too broad to fill.

The Tsarnaev family immigrated to the United States from Russia’s restive Chechnya region about 10 years before the attack, and were granted asylum before taking residence in a small apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside Boston.

Defense lawyers wrote that since the family had been evaluated for and granted asylum, the U.S. government would have far more background on them than it would for a typical family of native-born Americans.

The surviving Tsarnaev is being held in a jail west of Boston awaiting a trial scheduled to begin in November.

The bombs that ripped through the crowded finish line of Boston’s best-attended sporting event killed three spectators: Martin Richard, 8, Krystle Campbell, 29, and Chinese national Lu Lingzi, 23. Prosecutors charge that the Tsarnaev brothers shot dead a fourth man, 27-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer Sean Collier, a few days later, in a failed attempt to steal his gun as they tried to flee the city.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.