Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, accused of last year’s deadly Boston Marathon bombing, faces the death penalty, according to a recommendation made last year by federal prosecutors’ but not made public until Thursday. He was indicted last June 27.
Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him, including using a weapon for mass destruction. Three people were killed and another 260 wounded in the massacre. Of those injured, 16 lost their legs after Tsarnaev allegedly left homemade bombs in crowds near the finish line of the race.
The decision to request the death penalty, as recommended by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, was announced by the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen Oritz, who wrote that Tsarnaev “committed the offense in an especially heinous, cruel, and depraved manner.”
Policed shot and captured Tsarnaev last April, days after the murders. He had hidden in a boat where he allegedly scrawled in his own blood such statements as, “The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians. Can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished.
“We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all. Now I don’t like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said [unintelligible] it is allowed. Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.”
The day before he was arrested, Tsarnaev’s older brother Tamerlan, who also was sought for the massacre, died from gunshot and other wounds during a car chase by police.
He admitted to authorities that Tamerlan was infuriated by the United States, in particular for what he believed was its attacks on Islam through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, naturalized as an American citizen in September 2012, was a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, with a major in marine biology.