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Lawyers for Marathon bombing suspect want info from prosecutors

Sept. 24, 2013 at 4:04 PM   |   Comments

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BOSTON, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev say they need access to government evidence on the Boston Marathon bombing to prepare arguments on the death penalty.

At a court hearing Monday before U.S. District Judge George A. O'Toole Jr., lawyer Judy Clarke said the defense should have the opportunity to examine federal prosecutors' grounds for their penalty recommendation, the Boston Globe reported. Prosecutors plan to submit a recommendation in October, and Attorney General Eric Holder will then make a final decision within 90 days.

"The government has taken the position that, 'Look, we know what we have and you don't need to know about it,'" Clark said. "It's of concern that the government thinks it can make a decision based on what they know without some defense input. They may have a completely erroneous story."

Tsarnaev, 19, and his older brother, Tamerlan, both immigrants from the Russian republic of Chechnya, allegedly

set off two bombs April 15 at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding scores more. They allegedly killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, Sean Collier, in an attempt to get his gun April 18.

Tamerlan, 26, was killed in a confrontation with police hours later, and Dzhokhar was found hiding under a boat in a yard in Watertown, Mass.

William Weinreb, a federal prosecutor, told O'Toole the government has given the defense a lot of information. He said lawyers have had plenty of time to put together their own report for Holder.

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