June 18, 2014 2:02 pm

‘Betrayal of US’ not a factor in death penalty for Boston bombing suspect

A federal judge is ruling out "betrayal of U.S." for Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Federal Bureau of Investigation/AP Photo

BOSTON – A federal judge has ruled that “betrayal of the United States” should not be a factor in considering if Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gets the death penalty.

U.S. District Court Judge George O’Toole said Wednesday it was “highly inappropriate” for prosecutors to draw a distinction between a “naturalized” and “natural-born” U.S. citizen.

Federal prosecutors argue Tsarnaev deserves death, in part, because he betrayed his allegiance to the U.S. after it gave him and his Russian-born family asylum and citizenship more than a decade ago.

Tsarnaev’s attorneys argued that the federal government has never cited a defendant’s immigration history in nearly 500 previous death penalty cases.

O’Toole also issued a stern warning to prosecutors about current or former members of its team speaking to the media.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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