Updated: Tue, 12 Nov 2013 19:53:57 GMT | By U.S. News

Boston marathon bombing: Death penalty recommendation this week



Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, in an undated FBI handout photo.

Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, in an undated FBI handout photo.

Boston prosecutors will tell Attorney General Eric Holder this week whether they think marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should face the death penalty.

The feds disclosed the timetable during a status hearing Tuesday. The judge said he wants a final decision from Holder by Jan. 31.

It could be more than a year before Tsarnaev, 20, goes to trial on charges that he built and planted bombs that killed three people and injured more than 260 near the finish line of the iconic April 15 race.

He was not in court for the hearing, but his lawyers asked the judge lift so-called "special administrative measures" that restrict his contact with the outside world while he's held in federal lockup at Fort Devens.

Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) are headed to court to ask a judge to ease restrictions placed on him in prison as he awaits trial.

Tsarnaev's lawyers argued in a motion filed last month that so-called "special administrative measures" are impairing their ability to defend him. The measures are often used in terrorism cases and restrict access to the mail, the media, the telephone and visitors.

Oral arguments are scheduled Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Tsarnaev is accused in twin bombings near the finish line of the April 15 marathon. Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured.

Authorities allege that he and his brother, Tamerlan, built and planted the bombs. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died four days after the marathon following a gun battle with police.

Prosecutors plan to make their recommendation this week on whether they believe Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) should face the death penalty if convicted in the deadly attack.

In court Tuesday, prosecutors said they are in the process of completing their written proposal to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. He will make the ultimate decision on whether to seek the death penalty against the 20-year-old Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev's lawyers also complained that prosecutors are withholding evidence they need to defend him against the death penalty, including information on a 2011 triple slaying in Waltham in which Tsarnaev's brother, Tamerlan, is a suspect. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, also suspected in the marathon bombing, died following a shootout with police several days later.

The judge did not immediately rule on the request to order prosecutors to turn over evidence.

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