Federal prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing.
The 20-year-old is accused of helping orchestrate the April 15 blasts that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.
Seventeen of the 30 federal charges levelled against Tsarnaev carried the possibility of the death penalty, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill.
US Attorney General Eric Holder made the decision to press for execution.
He said: “After consideration of the relevant facts, the applicable regulations and the submissions made by the defendant’s counsel, I have determined that the United States will seek the death penalty in this matter.”
“The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision.”
Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty. A trial date has not been set.
Prosecutors allege that Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, built and planted two pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the marathon to retaliate against the US for its military action in Muslim countries.
The elder Tsarnaev died in a shoot-out with police during a getaway attempt days after the bombing.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was wounded but escaped on foot.
He was later found hiding in a boat parked at a suburban Boston home.
Authorities said he wrote about his motivation for the bombing on the inside of the boat.
The bombings stunned the nation during one of Boston’s most celebrated events as runners crossed the finish line and friends, families and spectators were gathered to cheer them on.