Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts will decide within a week whether to recommend the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev if he is convicted in the Boston Marathon bombing.
The prosecutors in the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz told a court hearing on Tuesday that the sentencing recommendation would go to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who will have until January 31 to make the final say on the government’s recommended punishment for the 20-year-old ethnic Chechen.
Lawyers for Tsarnaev are arguing that they do not have enough access to their client to adequately prepare for a trial that the U.S. government hopes will begin sometime next fall. The accused bomber’s attorneys are asking either for extra time to prepare, or additional opportunities for the defense team and/or its representatives to visit Tsarnaev in custody.
17:48 // 3 months ago
Two college friends of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect pleaded not guilty Tuesday to allegations they conspired to obstruct justice by agreeing to destroy and conceal some of their friend’s belongings as he evaded authorities.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both nationals of Kazakhstan who shared an apartment in New Bedford, Massachusetts, became friends with bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev when they all started school at University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth in 2011.
Tsarnaev is accused of setting off two bombs near the race’s finish line that killed three and wounded hundreds on 15 April. He has pleaded not guilty. Authorities say he was working with his older brother, who died during the manhunt for the suspects days later.
Both Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov face up to 25 years in prison if convicted on both the obstruction and conspiracy charges they face.
17:18 // 6 months ago