Boston Bombing: No Death Penalty If Suspect Cooperates?

Following up on word that there have been discussions between lawyers for Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and federal investigators about sparing him from the possibility of the death penalty if he provides valuable information about the attacks, NPR counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston says her reporting indicates:

“There’s some question of whether or not there are discussions about taking the death penalty off the table. … [And] it’s unclear whether investigators [may have] made that offer to try to get him to talk, or if his lawyers asked if that was possible.”

Presumably, Tsarnaev would be sentenced to life in prison if such a deal were struck and he was convicted or pleaded guilty. Dina spoke about the investigation into the bombings on Morning Edition.

The reports about discussions involving the death penalty come as a new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows “a large majority of Americans support the death penalty for the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing should he be convicted in federal court.”

The 19-year-old Tsarnaev is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction in the April 15 bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 250. The other main suspect, his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan, died four days later from injuries received during a gun battle with police. The brothers, authorities say, also killed a MIT police officer.

Some of the morning’s related headlines include:

– “Mother And Daughter Injured In Boston Bombing Face New Future.” (NPR’s Shots blog)

– Investigation Extends To Southern Russia. (Morning Edition)

– “Poll: Most Mass. Residents Back Shutdown Of Area For Marathon Manhunt,” (WBUR)

– Wife Of Dead Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev “To Allow Family To Claim His Body.” (Boston Globe)

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