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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, along with brother Tamerlan, was named a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings of April 15, 2013. Seven days later, he was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction in the attacks.
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On April 22, 2013, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings. Shortly thereafter, the White House announced that Dzhokhar would not be tried as an enemy combatant, but as a U.S. citizen, and that he would be tried in a civilian court. He made his initial court appearance, which was conducted by a federal magistrate judge, in his hospital room at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Dzhokhar,
who also faces a count of malicious destruction of property resulting in death, could face the death penalty or life in prison, if convicted.
In May 2013, it was reported that investigators had discovered a note enscribed by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the boat he'd been hiding in prior to his arrest in Watertown. According to reports, in the note, Dzhokhar takes responsibility for the Boston Marathon bombings, calling the attacks retribution for the United States' military action against innocent Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq. An excerpt from the note reads: "When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims." Dzhokhar also wrote that he didn't mourn the death of his brother, Tamerlan, who he deemed a martyr in paradise. The note is expected to be used as evidence in Tsarnaev's trial.
In the following month, Tsarnaev was indicted on 30 charges, including several counts of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. These charges were determined by a federal grand jury. He also faces state criminal charges, including murder, in Massachusetts.
On July 10, 2013, Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to the 30 federal charges during an arraignment hearing in a Boston federal courtroom. Many of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, as well as Tsarnaev's two sisters, were present in the courtroom as he pleaded his innocence during the proceeding.
On January 30, 2014, it was announced that prosecutors would be seeking the death penalty for Tsarnaev. With 17 of the 30 federal charges against Tsarnaev being eligible for the death penalty, the call for his execution came as no surprise. Although Massachusetts abolished the death penalty in 1984, prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty for Tsarnaev on a federal level—he is only the third person to have the death penalty be passed down on a federal level. A trial date for the prosecution has not been set.
In July of 2013, it was revealed that Tsarnaev's photo would be used for the cover of the August 2013 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. The controversial cover features a close-up of Tsarnaev in what is arguably considered a glamour shot, with the bold text "THE BOMBER" written underneath. The use of the cover photo by Rolling Stone sparked outrage, with consumers threatening to boycott the August edition of the magazine. There have also been comparisons between the music magazine's decision to put Tsarnaev on the cover and their decision to feature cult leader Charles Manson on the cover of their June 1970 award-winning issue.
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