Death penalty for Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev debated

The fate of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar is being debated. Tsarnaev (Credit: FBI/Reuters)
The fate of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar is being debated. Credit: FBI/Reuters

Federal prosecutors are mulling whether accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should die for his alleged role in the deadly April terror attack and shooting death of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer. 

Defense attorney Judy Clarke, a death-penalty specialist, told a federal court in Boston yesterday that she was concerned prosecutors planned to decide whether to seek execution before the defense had finished reviewing the evidence.

“It’s pretty stunning to say they can make a decision based on what they know without any defense input,” Clarke said. “They may have an erroneous story.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston will make a death penalty recommendation to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who has the final say, by Oct. 31. Holder will make the decision by January 31.

Defense attorneys have yet to say whether they will ask that the trial be held outside of Boston to ensure Tsarnaev is given a fair trial.

Tsarnaev, who is being held at a federal prison in Devens, was not in court for yesterday’s status hearing.

At a court appearance in July, he had a cast on his left arm and his face was swollen, the apparent results of injuries sustained in a gun battle with police.

Tsarnaev, 20, is accused of killing 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, graduate student Lingzi Lu, 23, and 8-year-old Martin Richard and injuring 264 after planting two pressure cooker bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Tsarnaev is also accused of murdering MIT police officer Sean Collier three days after the bombing.

He has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges, including using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and 16 other charges that carry the possibility of the death penalty.

Dzhokhar’s older brother and alleged bombing mastermind, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died during a shootout with police.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.