Boston Marathon Bombing

Tsaernev Could Face Death Penalty for WMD Charge

Or life in prison


Federal authorities on Monday charged Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with one count of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property in the United States in connection with last week's bombing of the Boston Marathon.

The 19-year-old captured Friday night after an exhaustive search and two bloody firefights was also charged with one count of using an improvised explosive device and one count of attempting "malicious destruction of property." 

If convicted of the charges, he could face the death penalty or life in prison.


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  1. I’ve often commented to people that you can be arrested and charged with almost anything, no matter what you actually did. Treason charges for jaywalking, for example.

    This strikes me as more of the same. If a little gunpowder can make a WMD, then it sets a disturbing precedent. Possessing firecrackers could get you a possessing WMDs charge. A U.S. Army Claymore mine is many times more powerful than what the brothers detonated, does that mean every claymore requires national command authority release before being deployed?

    There’s also the risk of him being acquitted of the inappropriate charge and simply going free. The prohibition on double-jeopardy could cause him to become impossible to charge again after his defense demonstrates that a few pounds of gun powder are not a WMD.

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