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Defense cries foul in bombing case

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, 6:00 p.m.
 

BOSTON — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev renewed their accusations on Tuesday that prosecutors are withholding evidence they need to defend their client against a potential death penalty.

Tsarnaev's lawyers complained that prosecutors have failed to turn over several types of evidence they believe could help them argue against the death penalty, including information on a 2011 triple slaying in Waltham in which Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan, is a suspect.

Miriam Conrad, one of Tsarnaev's lawyers, told the judge that the defense has also been frustrated by the government's refusal to turn over the immigration files of Tsarnaev's family and friends, information she said could be used to argue against the death penalty.

“The government could provide it, and has not offered a single reason why it won't,” she said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb countered that prosecutors have turned over “virtually all of the mitigating evidence” they have.

“We have not withheld any favorable information from them,” he said.

In court documents filed last month, prosecutors acknowledged that a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev told investigators that Tamerlan participated in the unsolved killings of three men who were found in a Waltham apartment with their throats slit and marijuana sprinkled over their bodies.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers argued in court papers that evidence of Tamerlan's involvement is mitigating information that is important as they prepare to defend his brother in the marathon bombing. His lawyers haven't said why they consider the evidence to be mitigating, but legal experts have theorized that the defense may be trying to show that Dzhokhar fell under the murderous influence of his older brother and that Tamerlan was the driving force behind the marathon bombings.

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