Convicted Boston bomber could be tried by state

Convicted boston bomber Dzokar Tsarnaev, facing death row, could face another trial by state for death of police officer

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A report released on Saturday said Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could stand trial on state charges for the murder of a police officer, despite being on death row at a federal penitentiary.

Tsarnaev was convicted of killing three people and injuring almost 300 others in one of the highest-profile attacks in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

A US jury sentenced Tsarnaev to death, on May 15, 2015 for his role in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Tsarnaev was convicted of murdering eight-year-old Martin Richard, 23-year-old Chinese graduate student Lingzi Lu and 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell.

Dzhokhar conducted the attacks with his elder brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed three days after the incident during a shootout with police, following the fatal shooting of Massachusetts of Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier for which Dzhokhar has been found guilty.

Dzhokhar survived with injuries and was later found hiding inside of a boat in the backyard of a local house.  

Citing a note that Tsarnaev wrote while hiding in the boat while bleeding after a gunfight with police four days after the attack, Assistant US Attorney Steven Mellin said Tsarnaev had turned against his adopted country.

Defence lawyers contend that Tsarnaev was an adrift teenager under the spell of his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, who they claimed was mainly responsible for the bombing and murder of the police officer three days after.

They also noted that when Dzhokhar's parents returned to their hometown Russia in 2012, he was left under the influence of Tamerlan, who had become obsessed with becoming a militant.

The decision does not mean Tsarnaev will be imminently executed though, as the defence attorneys are expected to appeal the decision.

Now, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan reportedly plans to bring Tsarnaev back to Massachusetts, where he was initially trialled, to face the charges related to the death of officer Sean Collier.

During an interview with The Boston Globe, Ryan said that the most ‘‘appropriate’’ thing to do is to go after Tsarnaeva again because the federal convictions are pending appeal and are not final.

"When you come into Middlesex County and execute a police officer in the performance of his duties and assault other officers attempting to effect his capture, it is appropriate you should come back to Middlesex County to stand trial for that offense," The Boston Globe quoted Ryan’s statement.

Tsarnaev, an immigrant who took up US citizenship, also faces numerous other state charges, including carjacking and kidnapping, the report added.

The Boston Globe, referring to judicial experts, said that they were unable to cite another case where someone on death row was tried again by the state.

TRTWorld and agencies