According to The Latin American Tribune, federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, who participated in the April 15, 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon that left three people dead and 280 wounded, the US Justice Department said Thursday (January 30).
US Attorney General Eric Holder authorized the prosecution to request the death penalty for Tsarnaev.
Given that Massachusetts, where the bomb attacks took place, does not impose the death penalty, the federal government had to ask for that punishment itself and will have to carry it out if Tsarnaev is found guilty, a task it has had to perform on only rare occasions in the past.
COMMENT: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and older brother Tamerlan, 26, ethnic Chechens with US citizenship, planted the two IEDs that detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Tamerlan died four days later in a shootout with police, while Dzhokhar was captured after a massive manhunt.
The surviving brother, Dzhokhar, stands accused of 30 charges, including causing the deaths of three people in the bomb blasts and that of an MIT campus police officer three days later while he was fleeing authorities.