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

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…