Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is the Boston Marathon bombing suspect heading to trial. Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty, arguing that he acted in “an especially heinous, cruel and depraved manner.” Once the case goes to trial, jurors will weigh two decisions: whether he is guilty and whether he deserves death.
Tsarnaev, a Chechnya-born American, and his brother Tamerlan allegedly planted two homemade bombs near the finish line of the marathon, then killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer three days later. A massive manhunt took place in and around the Boston area until Dzhokhar was found and his brother Tamerlan was killed during a police chase.
“The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement released by the Justice Department Thursday announcing that prosecutors would pursue the death penalty in the case.