BREAKING — Accused Boston Marathon bomber suspect pleads not guilty
July 10, 2013
Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon to 30 charges relating to his supposed involvement in April’s terrorist attack.
Tsarnaev, 19, entered his plea during his first public appearance in court Wednesday. More than half of the charges lobbed against him potentially imply the death penalty.
Tsarnaev’s first public appearance in a courtroom comes two weeks after a Massachusetts federal grand jury returned a 30-count indictment against him. The charges include using weapons of massive destruction, killing three Boston Marathon spectators, and also shooting a police officer to death.
The first public court hearing are for the judge to explain Tsarnaev what penalties exactly he may face. Seventeen of the 30 charges brought against him are capital offences.
Sparing Tsarnaev this worst scenario is believed to be the biggest challenge faced by his attorney, public defender Miriam Conrad.
The death penalty was banned in Massachusetts in 1984, but only for state cases, while Tsarnaev is being charged under federal law, which means he could still face capital punishment if found guilty.