Boston bomber seeks record on family

April 17, 2014 - 7:05:14 am

BOSTON: Lawyers for the accused Boston Marathon bomber ware due in court yesterday to ask a judge to order prosecutors to hand over more information on the defendant’s family as they seek to build a case that could limit his blame for the attack.

Defence attorneys have called on federal prosecutors to hand over any records they have on suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, who authorities contend also played a role in the attacks but died a few days later in a gun battle with police. He had been monitored by the FBI after travelling to Russia in 2011.

The surviving Tsarnaev, 20, faces the possibility of execution if convicted of planting homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the marathon finish line a year ago, killing three people and injuring 264 in the worst mass-casualty attack on US soil since September 11, 2001.

Defence lawyers last month asked for records on the elder Tsarnaev, arguing they could show their client operated under his “domination and control,” which could make him less culpable in the attacks if found guilty and thereby lower his odds of being put to death.

Proof that Tsarnaev was not mentally capable of fully understanding his actions, known as the “insanity defense,” could also reduce his odds of being convicted. Federal law requires that prosecutors be given advance notice of such a defence so they may hire mental experts to perform their own evaluation of the defendant.

Reuters

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