By John Waller
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has authorized federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz announced in a Thursday statement.
“We support this decision and the trial team is prepared to move forward with the prosecution,” she said in the statement.
Ortiz said the government has filed a notice with the court of the intent to seek the death penalty.
Tsarnaev, 20, is accused of carrying out the attack at the 2013 Boston Marathon with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The brothers allegedly set off two bombs, which killed three people and injured dozens more. Days later, they allegedly killed MIT Police Officer Sean Collier in Cambridge and injured MBTA Transit Police Officer Richard Donohue. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a gunfight with police.
The next scheduled court date in the case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a status conference on Wednesday, Feb. 12.
Ortiz said she understands the public’s interest in the case, but she has to follow protocol in terms of how much information is released.
“The process by which this decision was made is confidential,” she said, “and I will not comment further about that process other than to say that it entailed a careful and detailed consideration of the particular facts and circumstances of this case."