The Boston Marathon bombing suspect will not be tried as an “enemy combatant.”
19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, was charged with “using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property, resulting in death,” by federal prosecutors on Monday afternoon, and could possibly be facing the death penalty. It is likely he will also be charged in connection to the death of slain Police Officer Sean Collier. The Associated Press reports:
The charges represented a decision by the Obama administration to prosecute him in the federal court system instead of trying him as an enemy combatant in front of a military tribunal. Under the military system, defendants are not afforded some of the usual U.S. constitutional protections.
Although Tsarnaev is an ethnic Chechen from Russia, he has lived in the US for nearly a decade and is a naturalized US citizen. White House spokesperson Jay Carney explained that according to US law, “American citizens cannot be tried by military tribunals.” He also pointed out that “since the September, 11, attacks, the federal court system has been used to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists.”
Tsasarnaev is being treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital where he is listed in “serious but stable condition.”
Photo: AP File/FBI