The plans to bring Tsarnaev to a Massachusetts court belong to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, who wants Tsarnaev to stand trial for the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier. Tsarnaev, who was already sentenced to death for his role in the 2013 bombings, is currently imprisoned at a maximum security facility in Florence, Colorado.
This would make it the first case in which a perpetrator already on federal death row would be brought back to court to face charges from state authority. For all intents and purposes, Tsarnaev was already federally convicted for Collier’s death amongst other charges.
However, Ryan thinks that the severity of the act – he and his late brother Tamerlan mercilessly gunned down the officer a short time after the manhunt for the two began.
“When you come into Middlesex County and execute a police officer in the performance of his duties and assault other officers attempting to effect his capture, it is appropriate you should come back to Middlesex County to stand trial for that offense,” Ryan said in a statement.
He also believes that this could act as a safeguard in case Tsarnaev manages to succesfully appeal his federal sentence. The federal death sentence has already been automatically appealled, with it not being final.
Bringing Tsarnaev before a Massachusetts court would also mean further expenses with an additional trial, Tsarnaev’s defense and security costs due to the high-profile nature of the case. It would also mean lengthy and emotional procedures as the Chechen would probably not plead guilty, with the victims and families of the three deceased having to endure yet another reminder of the horrid event.
The trial would mostly focus on the actions of Dzokhar and his brother in the aftermath of the bombings, as they eluded authorities for several days and committed several felonies, including carjacking and hostage taking.
The two Chechen brothers turned radical Islamists shot and killed Sean Collier on April 18th, 2013, three days after the bombing and one day before Tamerlan was killed and Dzokhar captured. They shot the police officer in his car while on the MIT campus, with investigators believing the unsuccessfully tried to steal his car. Another police officer was severely injured in a later Watertown shootout which ended with the death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Image Source: Boston Globe