Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
"The U.S. believes the circumstances of the offenses charged…are such that, in the event of a conviction, a sentence of death is justified," Holder said in a release.
The 20-year-old Chechen is accused of detonating two homemade explosives at the renowned Boston Marathon event last year. The explosions killed three people and injured another 260 people, The Associated Press reported.
"The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision," Holder said.
Authorities say Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, planted homemade bombs near the marathon's finish line last April as vengeance against the U.S. for its military action in other Muslim countries.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a shoot out with the police, while Dzhokar Tsarnaev escaped by fleeing to a boat parked near a house in Boston.
"The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians," "I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished," and "We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all," Tsarneaev allegedly wrote in a boat where police ultimately found him, according to authorities.
This was a major decision for the Justice Department due to the fact that it is pursuing the death penalty in a state that has abolished the death penalty in 1984, Reuters reported.
"I would say it is a complicated decision," said Austin Sarat, professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College to Reuters. "There are complicated cultural, political, and legal questions."