Tags: America's Forum | | Exclusive Interviews | Boston bombing | Dzhokhar Tsarnaev | Jury

Lawyer: Boston Marathon Case Could End in Plea Bargain

By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 11:20 AM

Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the federal death penalty trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are likely trying to strike a last-minute plea deal, says Boston criminal defense lawyer Geoffrey Nathan, who appeared Monday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum" to discuss the case.

"A plea bargain in this particular matter would dispense with the need to go through a death-penalty trial," he said. "It would mean no death penalty imposed upon the defendant. However, you come down on that side of it, it would at least spare the federal government the cost of a death-penalty jury trial, which is enormous. For that reason, there's going to be a lot of pressure on both sides to sit down and hammer out a plea deal."

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Nearly two years after three people were killed and hundreds of others injured after twin explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line, the Tsarnev's trial date has arrived.

Tsarnaev, 21, and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, allegedly committed the bombings in retaliation for U.S. actions in Muslim countries. They are also accused of killing Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier.

Tamerlan Tsarnev died in a firefight with police several days after the bombings. The Tsarnevs are ethnic Chechens who had lived in the United States for about a decade.

Should the parties not reach a plea deal, Nathan estimates jury selection could take up to a month. Finding a "death-qualified panel" — people who are willing to consider the death penalty as a possible punishment — is a lengthy process.

"They've got to wean out those jurors who just, for whatever reason, cannot find it within them to impose the death penalty once a verdict is reached in this particular trial," he said.

About 1,200 people have been summoned for jury duty.

The case should have been transferred to a military court, Nathan said.

"This is worse than terrorism," he said. "This is the worst form of humanity known to mankind, and so why the administration didn't usurp jurisdiction and stick it in the military's justice system is beyond me."

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Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the federal death penalty trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are likely trying to strike a last-minute plea deal, says Boston criminal defense lawyer Geoffrey Nathan, who appeared Monday on . . .
Boston bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Jury
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2015-20-05
Monday, 05 Jan 2015 11:20 AM
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