U.S. to Seek Death Penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

The United States will seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It filed a notice today (available on PACER) listing the statutory aggravating factors and non-statutory aggravating factors. Among the non-statutory factors:

1. Betrayal of the United States. DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV received asylum from the United States; obtained citizenship and enjoyed the freedoms of a United States citizen; and then betrayed his allegiance to the United States by killing and maiming people in the United States.

2. Encouragement of Others to Commit Acts of Violence and Terrorism. In conjunction with committing acts of violence and terrorism, DZHOKHAR TASARNAEV made statements suggesting that others would be justified in committing additional acts of violence and terrorism against the United States.


4. Selection of Site for Acts of Terrorism. DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV targeted the Boston Marathon, an iconic event that draws large crowds of men, women and children to its final stretch, making it especially susceptible to the act and effects of terrorism...

5. Lack of Remorse. DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV demonstrated a lack of remorse.

7. Participation in Additional Uncharged Crimes of Violence. DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV participated in additional uncharged crimes of violence, including assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to maim, mayhem, and attempted murder, on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Non-statutory aggravating factors? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Peter G on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 09:59:08 PM EST
    I was not aware that the Supreme Court's death penalty jurisprudence allowed the executive branch to seek capital punishment on any rationale not approved and articulated in advance by the legislative branch.  Anyone know the authority for that?

    Sentence doesn't mean execution (none / 0) (#2)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 11:14:36 AM EST
    Politically how could Obama not seek the death penalty?

    Link. Feds have something like 60 or 70 people on "death row", but three people have actually been executed since the 1960's.

    Political gain of making the charge without the political damage from carrying it out.