Will Holder Seek Death Penalty in Boston Marathon Bombing?


If the Obama administration tries for the death penalty against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Associated Press says “it could face a long, difficult legal battle in a state that hasn’t seen an execution in nearly 70 years.” It is the highest-profile death penalty decision yet for Attorney General Eric Holder, who personally opposes the death penalty. “If you have the death penalty and don’t use it in this kind of case where someone puts bombs down in crowds of civilians, then in what kind of case do you use it?” said Aitan Goelman, who helped prosecute Oklahoma City bombing figures Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. During Obama’s term, the Justice Department has sought executions several times. In an indication of how protracted the process can be, none of the cases has put anyone on death row. Massachusetts abolished its own death penalty in 1984.

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