Prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the case of accused Boston Marrathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, according to a notice filed in US District Court on Jan. 30.
Tsarnaev, 20, faces a 30-count federal indictment. The charges against him include the use of a weapon of mass destruction in the April 15 bombing that killed 8-year-old Martin Richard, 23-year-old Lingzi Lu and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell.
In its notice, the US Attorney’s office cited the severity of the crime, premeditation in its execution and Tsarnaev’s lack of remorse as reasons he should be put to death if convicted.
“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,” the notice said.
If Tsarnaev is indeed put to death, he would become the first person since 1947 to receive capital punishment in Massachusetts.
The announcement elicited mixed reactions from Massachusetts politicians and victims of the attack.
In a gubernatorial debate hosted by the Boston Globe, all five Democratic candidates said they did not support the prosecution’s decision.
“I do not believe in the death penalty,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said.
When pressed to address capital punishment in the specific case of Tsarnaev, she shook her head and reaffirmed her answer. The other candidates voiced similar explanations for their disapproval.
The most prominent Republican gubernatorial candidate, Charlie Baker, told reporters in response to the debate that he supported the government’s decision.
Jared Clowery, a 36-year-old Millville man whose legs were badly burnt in the bombing, told the Globe the decision does not concern him.
“I’m moving on with my life. . . . It has no bearing on my life whatsoever,” he said.
Tsarnaev was arrested April 19 after a four-day manhunt that culminated in a shootout in Watertown that killed his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who is also implicated in the bombing, according to the Boston Globe.
Tsarnaev pleaded innocent to all charges on July 10, when he was arraigned before survivors of the bombing and their families.