U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Thursday that the government will seek the death penalty in the case of the United States vs. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The 20-year-old Tsarnaev is a suspect in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings that killed 3 people and wounded over 260 others. Law enforcement allege Tsarnaev, a Chechnya-born American, planted two pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the race with his brother.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is currently being held in federal prison, pleaded not guilty of committing the crimes with his older brother Tamerlan. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police just days after the bombing.
Liz Noren expressed relief when she heard the U.S. Attorney General’s decision to seek the death penalty. Noren’s two sons, JP and Paul, each lost a leg in the tragic bombing incident. “It’s important to me. I’m trying to make sense of what happened that day,” she said, “My boys went to watch a friend run the marathon, and one came home 46 days later. The other one, 32 days later.” Noren says she plans to sit in on the trial every day once it gets underway. “I just am relieved that it’s going forward in the right direction, one step forward in the recovery process,” she added.
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of Tsarnaev, is also disheartened by the announcement. “How can I feel about this? I feel nothing,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said in Russian. “I can tell you one thing, that I love my son. I will always feel proud of him. And I keep loving him.
Shortly after the bombing occurred Zubeidat Tsarnaeva was reported to have said that she did not believe her sons were responsible for the bombing and that they were framed by the U.S. government.
Massachusetts got rid of the the death penalty 30 years ago, but federal law permits the penalty in certain circumstances. Given the serious nature of the crime, the Attorney General’s office decided to move forward with the request.
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