Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Boston Bombings Suspect Will Face Criminal Charges, Not Be Designated Enemy Combatant

  • Religion Today Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2013 Apr 22

The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has been charged, the Justice Department announced Monday. CNN reports that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged in federal court with use of a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. He could face the death penalty if convicted. Tsarnaev, 19, made his initial appearance Monday before Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler in his hospital room at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. The decision to charge Tsarnaev in civilian court put an end to speculation that he would be charged as an enemy combatant, a designation sometimes used against terrorists. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the decision not to treat Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant was "absolutely the right way to go and the appropriate way to go." Carney said that because Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen, he cannot be tried by a military commission. Despite being seriously wounded and heavily sedated, Tsarnaev has begun responding to brief questions from his hospital bed, officials said.