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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is facing charges that he built and planted the bombs from the Boston Marathon Bombing, has officially been recommended for the death penalty.
The judge on the federal case stated that he wants a final decision on the proposed sentence by Jan. 31.
Tsarnaev, who is being held in federal lockup at Fort Devens, is accused of making pressure-cooker bombs that ultimately killed three people and injured more than 260 others near the finish line of the April 15 Boston Marathon. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who is suspected of being the accomplice in the bombing, was killed during a shootout with police while trying to escape.
Tsarnaev, a former University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth student, was ultimately caught hiding out inside a boat in a Boston neighborhood. Police found anti-American writings inside the boat, which were thought to be written by Tsarnaev while he was hiding out.
The writings read, “The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians. I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished.”
Tsarnaev, who is only 20, faces more than 30 charges stemming from this event, the most drastic being use of a weapon of mass destruction from the actual bombing. Of these charges, 17 actually hold the possibility of the death penalty.
Tim Watkins, who is representing Tsarnaev as a defense attorney on the case, recently addressed his status on defending his client from the death penalty.
“We’re simply nowhere near the point where we can sensibly address where we are, where we aren’t,” Watkins said.
Watkins and fellow defense attorneys on the case have complained that “special administrative measures” are hampering their ability to defend Tsarnaev. They plan to take up the issue with the judge in court and ask him to ease the restrictions placed on Tsarnaev as he awaits the actual trial. Such restrictions are usually used in “terrorism” cases. They restrict access to the media, the telephone, mail and visitors.
Watkins and company are also arguing that the prosecutors on the case have “failed to turn over evidence in the case in a timely matter, delaying their preparations.”
Authorities have verified that Tsarnaev is an ethnic Chechen hailing from Russia. It is believed he relocated to the United States as a child with his brother.
Experts believe Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was 27, to have been the mastermind behind the actual bombing. He was described by close friends and relatives as a “radical extremist and supporter of Jihad.” An interesting spin on the case is that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was previously connected to a triple homicide that happened on the evening of Sept. 11, 2011. He was not charged, but was named as a new suspect in April 2013, the same month the bombing actually took place.
Ogden resident Terry Smothers said he believes Tsarnaev should not receive the death penalty.
“He shouldn’t be executed, because there would have been no point in bringing him in and wasting taxpayers’ money for court if we are going to kill him,” Smother said.
Weber State University student Alex Wallwork believes the opposite. She said she believes Tsarnaev should indeed receive the death penalty.
“I feel that he should receive the death penalty, hands down,” Wallwork said. “I support an eye for an eye. I do believe that capital punishment is necessary in cases like this and that keeping him imprisoned for the rest of his life will in no way enhance the lives of our nation, nor any individual in it.”
Tsarnaev will not be told his fate for about another year while legal proceedings take place.