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
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…