United States Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that the Department of Justice will seek the death penalty against Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the 20-year-old ethic Chechen man accused of being involved in last year’s deadly 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,” Holder said in a brief statement released Thursday afternoon.
No trial is currently set for Tsarnaev, but the attorney general said prosecutors will ask that he be sentenced to die if he’s found guilty of using a weapon of mass destruction.
"The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision," Holder said in a statement released Thursday.
In an official Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on Thursday, US attorney Carmen Ortiz wrote that Tsarnaev is worthy of execution because he intentionally killed, inflicted serious bodily injury and participated in acts that resulted in death.
“Tsarnaev intentionally and specifically engaged in acts of violence,” Ortiz wrote at one point, “knowing that the acts created a grave risk of death to a person or persons, other than one of the participants in the offense, such that the participation in the acts constituted a reckless disregard for human life.”
Ortiz added that Tsarnaev “betrayed his allegiance to the United States” by killing and maiming US citizens after receiving asylum, encouraged others to commit acts of violence and has shown no remorse for his alleged crimes.
Along with his late brother, Tamerlan, Tsarnaev is accused of carrying out an attack at the annual foot race last April that left three people dead and more than 260 others wounded. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died in a shoot-out with police days after the tragedy before his younger brother was apprehended.
In all, Dzhokar Tsarnaev has been charged with 30 federal counts regarding his alleged role in the attack.