United States prosecutors announced last week that they will be seeking the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 20-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing. The decision made by Attorney General Eric Holder was widely expected.
Massachusetts abolished the state death penalty in 1984, and Tsarnaev is the third person in the state to be charged under the federal death penalty. Since the federal death penalty was reinstated in 1988, 70 death penalty sentences have been imposed, but only three of those have actually been executed. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed in 2001, eight people have been taken off death row, and 59 people remain on death row.
The last federal execution was in 2003 when Louis Jones Jr. was put to death for the murder of 19-year-old Army Pvt. Tracie McBride.
Source: KHOU.com, “US prosecutors seek execution of Boston Marathon bombing suspect,” Associated Press, January 30, 2014