Boston, MA, United States (4E) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday authorized federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty as punishment for the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in April last year.
Following the announcement of the recommendation by the Department of Justice, prosecutors led by Boston U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz notified U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. of the decision, a day ahead of the deadline to do so.
The U.S. attorney’s office will now request for a trial date for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, a Chechnya-born American responsible for the attack that killed three people and injured more than 250 others. Tsarnaev has been charged with 30 counts, including using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and destruction of property.
He and his older brother, Tamerlan, were also accused of killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer as the manhunt for them was launched.
Tsarnaev and his brother left backpacks containing bombs made out of pressure cookers at the finish line of the race on April 15, 2013. They then detonated the improvised explosive devices from a distance. Police used surveillance videos in the race to identify suspects. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police in Watertown, during which Dzhokhar was also wounded but escaped. On April 19, police found Tsarnaev hiding in a boat on a trailer and arrested him.
Police found a note written by Dzhokhar that says the bombings were in retaliation for the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and Iraq.