News

Prosecutors will seek death penalty against Boston bomb suspect

Prosecutors will seek death penalty against Boston bomb suspect

BOSTON BOMBING SUSPECT: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Photo: Reuters

By David Ingram

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be put to death if he is found guilty of planting bombs that killed three people and wounded 264 at the Boston Marathon last year, the U.S. government’s chief prosecutor said on Thursday.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that he was authorizing trial prosecutors to seek the death penalty against Tsarnaev, who is charged with committing one of the largest attacks on U.S. soil since the September 11, 2001, attacks.

“The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision,” Holder said.

Holder faced a Friday deadline for deciding whether to seek the death penalty as part of Tsarnaev’s upcoming trial.

Prosecutors say that Tsarnaev, 20, and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan planted a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the race’s crowded finish line on April 15, 2013, killing three people and wounding 264.

Three nights later, the pair killed a university police officer and later engaged in a shootout with police that left Tamerlan dead, prosecutors say.

The younger Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in the worst mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. Justice Department officials said the nearly seven months since was necessary to evaluate fully the circumstances of the case and to gather recommendations from prosecutors advising Holder.

Holder has said he is not a proponent of the death penalty because he believes its value as a deterrent is questionable, but since becoming attorney general in 2009, he has authorized prosecutors to seek the death penalty in 36 cases, according to the Justice Department.

(Editing by Howard Goller, James Dalgleish and G Crosse)

Recent Headlines

in Lifestyle

Study: Kids like new, healthier school lunches

Fresh
schoollunch

A recent study suggests that most elementary age students like eating the healthier school lunches required by the USDA.

in National

Sugar tax could be coming to your soda

Fresh
soda

A lawmaker will launch the first national effort in years to tax soda, the latest bid to stem rising obesity and diabetes rates by curbing the consumption of sugary drinks.

in National

U.S. economy bounces back in second quarter

Fresh
consumer

Economic growth accelerated more than expected in the second quarter, bolstering views for a stronger performance in the last six months of the year.

in National

Netflix agrees to pay AT&T for smooth streaming

netflix

Netflix has agreed to pay AT&T to ensure smooth delivery of its content.

in Sports

PGA Tour commissioner, Woods hope for big finish

tigerwoods

Tiger Woods, battling back from a back injury, still drives fan interest and TV ratings.