Feds Seek Death Penalty for Boston Bombing Suspect

Federal Prosecutors say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's "betrayal" to the US was a factor.
3:00 | 01/30/14

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Transcript for Feds Seek Death Penalty for Boston Bombing Suspect
This is a special room. Anti Hernandez in New York with his breaking news from ABC the United States will seek the death penalty against -- cars are not yet. He accused Boston Marathon bomber attorney general Eric Holder put out this statement. Just a few moments ago today the United States attorney general Eric H holder junior authorized. The government to seek the death penalty in the case of the United States vs -- -- are not yet. We support this decision and -- trial -- prepared to move forward with the prosecution. For more on the story let's bring an ABC's caricatures ski Aaron was this. Expected from the attorney general eight you know that -- this was in the months in the making tie and it wasn't necessarily expected by. Someone who works for a democratic administration. Generally thought to be opposed to the death penalty but it was the heinous nature of the crime back in April. That made even some longstanding opponents of the death penalty really reconsider. Not that attorney general Eric Holder put personal feelings into this he says that he. Made this decision after considering all of the relevant facts and applicable laws even as he said. Considering some of the defense arguments but at the time of this crime I remember talking to Boston Mayor Tom Menino. A longstanding opponent of the death penalty and and he said that that the marathon attack did make him reconsider. -- now it's been -- while since Joseph Hart has been taken into custody what is he said in terms of the bombing specifically in terms of any admission. Well it's all come out in some of the court filings where prosecutors revealed that there were in fact writings. On the inside of the vote. Angel hearts are -- -- was found in the scrawled in his hand apparently that. Made reference to that that the fairness of treatment of Muslims that the legitimacy that he felt that the marathon attack was was brought to bear and talked a little bit about his his opposition to varying. US involvement in and in wars that sort of thing but but officially. -- -- -- -- has made no statements to prosecutors that we're aware of he is next due in court. In the middle -- next month. -- the defense will likely try to make the case that your heart was influenced by his older brother Cameron -- who died. That. In the -- aftermath of those bombings -- is going to be strong enough defense. We'll -- it's going to be tough because prosecutors believe that since he wrote the things that he did in that vote in his own hand that they show what was in his head. And no matter what kind of influences may have -- those writings and so expect federal prosecutors to argue. Rather vociferously that official hearts -- and I have was his own man now -- and -- and -- was killed. In a shootout with police and then Joseph hearts -- and I have actually contributed to his brother's death by driving over him with there stolen car. What is your heart now we're -- -- federal -- he had been in a medical facility. He was in pretty rough shape -- call. We've seen photos of him shortly after he was taken into custody blood on his face. And and he was not in in very good shape. Apparently he's better -- no longer in the medical. Part of the facility he was initially arraigned in his hospital bed but he's better now and is at the moment expected to stand trial. What's interesting -- Aaron is that the state of Massachusetts does not have the death penalty but clearly this is not the State's case anymore you know an infected neighboring New Hampshire is is where visual arts are alive could. Potentially be put to death or maybe terra haute Indiana there are a couple of places that are certainly possible that Massachusetts does not and that's why it's. Such a a tough case. The US attorney in Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz had to give Eric Holder the attorney general her recommendation she did so by the end of last year we don't know what it was we don't know whether this decision. Is in line with with -- Ortiz had recommended. But she had to. -- again study all the facts but also get some opinions from the local community. And and there had been some fairly. Strong opinions that Joseph -- sir and I have. Should indeed face the death penalty and and that's where the attorney general has now decided ago. And where -- the case go from here it. February 12 is when -- hearts -- night is next in court that's just a status conference will see when he is able to get to to trial if he's able to get to trial. Now that the government has said they are going to seek the death penalty. Perhaps that does influence the way the defense attorneys might start thinking about some kind of plea deal. And an effort to save his life. ABC's -- pictures skiing -- thank you for joining us. And helping us sort through this breaking news stay with abcnews.com for your latest headlines for now -- -- Hernandez in New York. Because ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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