Attorney General Eric Holder has authorized federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
"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," read Holder's statement on the decision, which was released today. "The nature of the conduct at issue and resultant harm compel this decision." You can read the Justice Department's letter of intent here.
Tsarnaev faces 30 charges in a Massachusetts court for his role in the April 2013 bombing and the following two-day manhunt, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death. The decision as to whether federal authorities should seek the death penalty for Tsarnaev was a matter of national debate in months following the attack. Americans of all stripes supported the punishment for the alleged bomber. But, perhaps strangely, the people closest to the crime were much more forgiving — only 33 percent of Boston residents said they supported capital punishment for Tsarnaev.
The start date for the trial has not been set,