Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, has asked a court to appoint two lawyers with experience in death penalty cases to help with his defence.
Tsarnaev’s lawyer, Miriam Conrad, said in a filing in federal court in Boston that two lawyers who have defended capital prosecutions should be appointed, “given the magnitude of this case.”
The case against Jared Loughner, the gunman who killed six people and injured 13, including former Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was allowed to hire two attorneys with experience in death penalty matters, was cited by Conrad. Loughner pleaded guilty to the 2011 rampage and is serving life in prison.
19-year-old Tsarnaev was charged with executing the April 15 bombings with his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who died of injuries sustained in a gun battle with police four days after the attack.
The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings who is still recovering in a Boston hospital after suffering injuries in a shootout with police leading to his arrest, was on Monday charged by Federal prosecutors with terrorism, outlining a chilling plot in which the man and his brother allegedly used low-grade but deadly explosives timed to detonate a block apart.
Tsarnaev was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property, counts that could bring him the death penalty.
He made his first court appearance in an unusual, non-public proceeding in which a federal judge and several lawyers went to his hospital bed. The toll from the bombings, according to court documents and interviews on Monday, could have been far higher.
Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, who was killed on Friday after a firefight with police, had a homemade arsenal of explosives. Some law enforcement officials said they think the brothers were planning more attacks. The pair also apparently had no escape plan.
The FBI found in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college dormitory room what appeared to be the same black jacket and white hat he wore on the day of the attack, court documents said.