Boston Marathon bombing: Accused to learn by January if US will seek death
BOSTON (REUTERS) - Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will learn by late January whether the United States government wants to execute him if he is convicted in one of the largest attacks on US soil since Sept 11, 2001.
Federal prosecutors in Boston, by the end of October, will pass on to the Justice Department in Washington their recommendation on whether to seek the death penalty. Attorney-General Eric Holder will decide about 90 days after that, assistant US Attorney William Weinreb told a judge on Monday.
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, killing three people and wounding 264. Three nights later, the pair killed a university police officer and later engaged in a shoot-out with police that left Tamerlan dead, prosecutors contend.
Mr Weinreb told US District Judge George O'Toole that the Justice Department believed it had authority to determine when it would make the decision on whether to seek the death penalty.