WASHINGTON — The Justice Department Thursday announced that prosecutors will seek the death penalty in its case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, accused in the Boston Marathon bombing.
“After consideration of the relevant facts, the applicable regulations and the submissions made by the defendant’s counsel, I have determined that the United States will seek the death penalty in this matter,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision.”
In the formal court filing announcing the government’s “intent to seek the death penalty” against Tsarnaev, the lawyers in the U.S. Attorney’s Office informed the court:
[T}he United States will seek the sentence of death for these offenses: Conspiracy to Use A Weapon of Mass Destruction Resulting in Death; Use of A Weapon of Mass Destruction Resulting in Death; Possession and Use of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence Resulting in Death; Conspiracy to Bomb a Place of Public Use Resulting in Death; Bombing of a Place of Public Use Resulting in Death; and Malicious Destruction of Property Resulting in Personal Injury and Death, all of which carry a possible sentence of death.
Among the aggravating factors justifying the government intends to argue justify the imposition of the death penalty are the “Heinous, Cruel and Depraved Manner of Committing the Offense” and the “Substantial Planning and Premeditation” involved, as well as “Betrayal of the United States,” which the U.S. Attorney’s Office describes as having occurred because 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.”