Death penalty protocol focus of Boston bombing hearing

By: Melissa Toupin

e-mail: mtoupin@abc6.com

Twitter: @MelissaToupin

Facebook.com/MelissaToupinWLNE

The case against surviving Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is due back in court Monday. Today lawyers for the defense will ask a judge to discuss the timeline and procedure for prosecutors to decide whether they will make a push for execution. Tsarnaev's lawyers will also have a right to present their case.

Massachusetts hasn't seen an execution in nearly 70 years. The Commonwealth got ride of the death penalty in 1984. Tsarnaev is being prosecuted in Federal court. He has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges, more than half of which carry the possibility of capitol punishment.

Tsarnaev is accused in bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260 others near the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, 2013. He is not expected to attend Monday's hearing.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will ultimately make the decision to seek the death penalty. The U.S. attorney's office in Boston will make the recommendation.

Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1988 only 3 federal cases have resulted in the death penalty. Among those executed was Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

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Information provided by AP