Published January 08, 2015
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) say federal prosecutors shouldn't be allowed to use his status as a new American citizen to argue that his alleged "betrayal" of the United States is one reason he should be put to death.
A defense filing Thursday says prosecutors are trying to use Tsarnaev's foreign birth and immigration history against him. They say citing his status as a newly naturalized U.S. citizen implies he is "more deserving of the death penalty" than a native-born person who commits the same crime.
Tsarnaev is awaiting trial in the 2013 marathon bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260.
He lived in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan and later in Russia before moving to the U.S. at age 8.