Why Federal Court is the Right Way to Try Dzhokhar Tsarnaev [INFOGRAPHIC]

Federal prosecutors charged Dzhokhar Tsarnaev today with one count of “using a weapon of mass destruction” and one count of “malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death,” The New York Times reports.

There’s no need for debate about whether the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect should have instead been treated as an enemy combatant. President Obama made the right decision in committing to try Dzhokhar in a U.S. federal court. Federal courts have completed nearly 500 cases related to international terrorism since 9/11.  Of those, 67 cases have involved individuals captured overseas, according to Department of Justice data obtained by Human Rights First in a Freedom of Information Act request.

Meanwhile, military commissions have convicted only seven individuals since 9/11 and has needlessly delayed many high profile terrorism prosecutions.  Two of those convictions were recently overturned due to legal problems in securing jurisdiction.

Americans deserve justice for the Boston Marathon bombing. If convicted, Dzhohkhar could face the death penalty for killing three civilians and injuring over a hundred more.

Other resources:
FACTSHEET: Federal Courts Continue to Take Lead in Counterterrorism Prosecutions
FACTSHEET: Myth v. Fact – Trying Terror Suspects in Federal Court
FACTSHEET: Guantanamo by the Numbers


Published on April 22, 2013


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