Federal prosecutors announced Thursday they would seek the death penalty against Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The Justice Department formally notified the judge in the case of its intentions in a filing.
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“After consideration of the relevant facts, the applicable regulations and the submissions made by the defendant’s counsel, I have determined that the United States will seek the death penalty in this matter,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
“The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision.”
Tsarnaev is awaiting trial on charges that he and his 26-year-old brother, who is now dead, planted two pressure-cooker bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April, killing three people and injuring at least 260 others.
Tsarnaev is also charged with killing an MIT campus police officer.
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He pled not guilty to all charges. His next court hearing is Feb. 12.
“How can I feel about this? I feel nothing," Tsarnaev's mother told ABC News upon learning of the development.
Tsarnaev is the third person in the state to be charged under the federal death penalty. Massachusetts abolished its state death penalty in 1984.
The decision, however, is not final.
Prosecutors withdraw the threat of execution in nearly half of federal death penalty cases because of a plea deal, according to the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel.