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Monday 15 September 2014

Marathon suspect death penalty plea

Published 07/05/2014 | 20:42

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Three people died in the Boston Marathon bombing last year

Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have said prosecutors should not be allowed to argue that targeting the crowded athletic event is a factor a jury should consider when considering the death penalty.

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In a court filing today, Tsarnaev's lawyers argued that the decision to bomb the marathon should not be an "aggravating factor" in determining punishment. They said it would be duplicative, because prosecutors also allege that Tsarnaev committed the offence after substantial planning to cause death and commit an act of terrorism.

His lawyers also filed a motion asking the judge to declare the federal death penalty unconstitutional.

Tsarnaev is awaiting trial over the 2013 bombing. Prosecutors allege that he and his brother planted two bombs near the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 260.

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