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Tsarnaev defense team requests addition of death-penalty specialist

Tsarnaev defense team requests addition of death-penalty specialist
An FBI photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, are suspected of planting the bombs that killed three and injured more than 250 during the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Tamerlan was killed by police on April 18, 2013. UPI | License Photo

BOSTON, July 16 (UPI) -- Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wants to add another death-penalty specialist to his defense team, court papers indicated.

In papers filed Monday, Tsarnaev's lawyers repeated an previous request to appoint David Bruck, a Virginia lawyer whose client list included Zayd Safarini, serving life for his role in the 1986 hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan; and Mohamed Rashed Daoud al-Owhali, one of four men serving life for the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, the Boston Herald reported.

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Already on Tsarnaev's team is Judy Clarke, who helped Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph get life sentences.

"If this case did not present 'exceptional circumstances' justifying appointment of an additional lawyer learned in the law applicable to capital cases ... no case would," Clarke wrote in the motion.

RELATED Police: Marathon bombing suspect may have taken part in 2011 killings

Tsarnaev, 19, pleaded not guilty in federal court last week to 30 charges, 17 of which carry the death penalty, arising from the twin bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15. Three people died and scores were injured.

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His legal team tried to add Bruck in April, but a judge denied the request with a promise to review the decision after the indictment.

Prosecutors have not indicated whether they will pursue the death penalty. The Herald reported last week that U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz's office sent victims a questionnaire asking them for their thoughts on the death penalty, among other matters.

RELATED Accused Boston Marathon bomber pleads not guilty at arraignment

Tsarnaev's brother Tamerlan, 26, was killed when run over allegedly by Tsarnaev as he escaped a shootout with police following the bombings.

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RELATED Tsarnaev faces 30-count indictment in Boston Marathon bombings

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