WASHINGTON, July 12 (RIA Novosti) – US federal prosecutors are asking victims of the deadly Boston Marathon bombing whether they should pursue the death penalty against suspected terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whom authorities accuse of carrying out the attack together with his brother, the Boston Herald reported Friday.
“As you may know, this case may involve the death penalty for the defendant Tsarnaev,” prosecutors ask in a questionnaire being distributed to victims that was obtained by the newspaper. “Please indicate below as to whether you would be willing to share your thoughts on the death penalty with the prosecution team.”
The question is one of 20 being posed to victims of the April 15 twin bombing near the finish line of the race that left three people dead and more than 260 wounded, the Herald reported.
At his arraignment this week, Tsarnaev, 19, pleaded not guilty to all 30 charges against him, including the murder of a police officer as police chased him and his brother, fellow suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in a manhunt days after the bombing.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a shootout with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown, while Dzhokhar suffered nonfatal wounds and was apprehended on April 19.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could face the death penalty on 17 of the 30 counts against him, and a relative of two of the victims in the bombing said she would like to see prosecutors consider capital punishment in the case, particularly in light of the suspects purported blasé body-language during Wednesday’s arraignment.
“I want to read the survey and I definitely want the death penalty considered,” Liz Norden, whose sons each lost their right legs in the attack, told the Herald. “ … [Tsarnaev] showed no remorse. He smirked at the crowd. He doesn’t care what he did. He killed a lot of people and caused a lot of heartache for a lot of people in Boston.”
The grandmother of Krystle Cambell, who was killed in the bombing, told the newspaper that she would like to see Tsarnaev punished but not put to death.
“All I want is justice,” Lillian Cambell told the Herald. “He murdered my granddaughter, that’s how I feel. I wouldn’t wish anybody dead, that’s for sure. It’s not going to bring my granddaughter back. But he should be punished.”
A spokeswoman for US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, who is prosecuting the case, declined to comment on the survey, saying prosecutors’ interactions with the victims are confidential, the Boston Herald reported.