NEW YORK, July 11 (RAPSI) – The prosecutors are likely to request capital punishment for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who denied all charges brought against again in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing on Wednesday, said Arkady Bukh, an attorney based in New York.
He said it seemed the prosecutors had not been able to come to an agreement with Tsarnaev’s attorneys. They most likely offered him a life sentence in return for pleading guilty. Considering the number of victims of the bombing, it was the best offer the prosecution could make, Bukh told RIA Novosti.
Bukh represents the interests of Kazakh students Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, who were arrested on May 1. According to the FBI, they tried to throw the investigators off Tsarnaev's trail by removing evidence from his dorm room, including a laptop and a backpack loaded with fireworks.
The special services later found them in a garbage bin.
If found guilty, the two students could face up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
Arkady Bukh, who has not studied the materials of Tsarnaev’s case, said the investigators have substantial evidence against him, including his initial admission and explanation that his reason for the bombing was the US war in Iraq.
The testimony of living witnesses is usually considered the most compelling, the attorney said. Some witnesses claim they saw Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at the bombing site, where their eyes met, it seems that the prosecution also has sufficient circumstantial evidence, Bukh said.
He believes that the prosecutors will likely make one more offer to Tsarnaev before the hearing in order to avoid the litigation. Capital punishment can only be handed down on defendants if the jury unanimously declares them guilty and unanimously votes for capital punishment.
Two blasts occurred on April 15 at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, America's most prestigious 26.2-mile race, which boasts such stringent entry requirements that only the best of the best are entitled to compete.
Three people were killed, including an eight-year-old boy present to cheer on his father. Upwards of 180 people were reported as injured.
Brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, aged 19 and 26 respectively, are suspected of having detonated two bombs made from pressure cookers at the Boston Marathon. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police later that same week. Dzhokhar was captured several hours later in a manhunt that shut down much of Boston and the surrounding areas.
Dzhokhar is charged with one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, namely, an improvised explosive device, "against persons and property within the United States resulting in death," and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death.