On Thursday, Jan. 30, NBC announced that federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and wounded over 260 more.
It was widely speculated and expected that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder would be seeking the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20. He is facing over 30 federal charges including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill.
Holder issued a statement saying, “The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision.” Federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz filed a notice of intent with the court listing the factors they believe warrants a death sentence against Tsarnaev.
The notice of intent stated, “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received asylum from the United States; obtained citizenship and enjoyed the freedoms of a United States citizen; and then betrayed his allegiance to the United States by killing and maiming people in the United States.
The notice of intent also states that Tsarnaev showed a “lack of remorse” and made allegations that he murdered an MIT police officer and that one of the bombing victims was an eight year-old boy the prosecutor described as a “particularly vulnerable” victim because of his young age.
Prosecutors also included the belief that Tsarnaev carried out the terrorist attack after “substantial planning and premeditation.” The notice described the Boston Marathon as “an iconic event that draws large crowds of men, women and children to its final stretch, making it especially susceptible to the act and effects of terrorism.”
Tsarnaev’s mother Zubeidat, who resides in Russia spoke with ABC about the announcement and said, “How can I feel about this? I feel nothing. I can tell you one thing, that I love my son. I will always feel proud of him. And I keep loving him.”
During Tsarnaev’s time hiding out in the boat before his capture, he wrote numerous things on the inside of the boat. Things like, “The US Government is killing our innocent civilians” and “We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.”
Marc Fucarile, who lost his right leg above the knee and other severe injuries during the bombing responded to the news that the government will see the death penalty. Fucarile said, I think it’s the right decision to go after the death penalty.”
“It shows people that if you are going to terrorize our country, you are going to pay with your life.”
Gerry Leone, former federal prosecutor in Boston believe Tsarnaev’s defense team will try to save his life by claiming he was coerced by his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Leone said, “I think their focus…will probably be to characterize it as coercion, intimidation and just his will being overborne by the older brother.”
“They’ll say, talk about how he was a teenager, never been in trouble before and in many respects, looks like the average United States college student.”
Dzokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. At this time, no trial date has been set.
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