1st Cir. News: Death Penalty Sought for Boston Marathon Bomber, More

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on February 03, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The First Circuit has been making national headlines for the past year, as all eyes wanted to see the fate of Whitey Bulger. Now, an equally (if not more) gripping case is progressing through the First Circuit -- the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a/k/a the surviving accused Boston Marathon bomber.

As we give you an update on this case, we also explain that the Supreme Court recently granted cert in an unrelated criminal case that could have far-reaching effects on our Fourth Amendment rights prohibiting unreasonable search and seizure.

United States v. Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev

Last Thursday, the United States filed a Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, reports New York Magazine. In its notice, the government listed four threshold factors under 18 U.S.C. § 3951(a)(2)(A)-(D), statutory aggravating factors under 18 U.S.C. § 3952(c), and non-statutory aggravating factors under 18 U.S.C. § 3953(a)(2).

In a statement, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stated: "After consideration of the relevant facts, the applicable regulations and the submissions made by the defendant's counsel, I have determined that the United States will seek the death penalty in this matter." He concluded: "The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision."

United States v. Wurie

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in a case that originated in the First Circuit -- United States v. Wurie. In Wurie, the issue before the Court is whether law enforcement officials can review the contents of a cell phone -- without a warrant -- as part of a search incident to arrest. Oral arguments have not been set, but we expect a decision by the end of the current term.

With these two cases making their way through the system, you can bet that all eyes will be on the First Circuit this coming year. As always, we'll keep you posted on all new legal developments.

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