Tuesday, April 21, 2015

With Tsarnaev penalty phase set, outcome uncertain

Capital sentences rarely imposed in US cases, but terrorism sets Marathon bombings apart

The jury that convicted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on all counts this month will reconvene in federal court Tuesday to begin considering whether he should be sentenced to death, a punishment that is supported only one out of three times that it is brought before jurors, records show.

Even if jurors vote unanimously to impose the death penalty on the 21-year-old Boston Marathon bomber, his execution would probably be held up for years. Most federal convicts given capital punishment have been on death row for at least a decade due to appeals, records show.
But legal specialists say these statistics, while showing the daunting task facing prosecutors, may have little relevance in Tsarnaev’s trial because his case is singular in many ways. Few federal death penalty cases involve the death and maimings at celebrated public events like the Marathon.

More:  http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/04/20/tsarnaev-reconvenes-records-suggests-death-sentence-exception/4BWlHI1hZSPv6zG1CZAeQN/story.html

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