Boston Marathon bombing sus­pect Dzhokhar Tsar­naev is sched­uled to appear in fed­eral court today for his arraign­ment, and some vic­tims and their fam­i­lies are expected to attend. When the 30-​​count indict­ment against him was announced last month, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz indi­cated that the 19-​​year-​​old defen­dant, if con­victed of mur­dering three spec­ta­tors during the race and an MIT police officer days later, would face life in prison or the death penalty. Con­sis­tent with Jus­tice Depart­ment pro­ce­dure, Ortiz would con­sult with the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies before making a rec­om­men­da­tion of whether the fed­eral gov­ern­ment should seek to exe­cute Tsarnaev.

Hope­fully, this stage of the decision-​​making process is more about polit­ical cor­rect­ness than public policy. It is cer­tainly appro­priate for the vic­tims to be kept informed about impor­tant devel­op­ments in the case. How­ever, the pref­er­ences of vic­tims should not guide either pros­e­cu­to­rial strategy or sen­tencing decisions.


Read the article at USA Today →