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Business Week Quotes Professor Dan Filler on Decision to Seek Death Penalty in Boston Bombing

Professor Daniel Filler

January 31, 2014

Senior Associate Dean Dan Filler was quoted in Business Week on Jan. 31 regarding the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to seek the death penalty against accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

In seeking the death penalty against Tsarnaev, “Eric Holder chose to speak for the nation as a whole, rather than for just Boston or Massachusetts,” Filler said.

With polls showing that many Massachusetts residents oppose the death penalty, Filler observed, “Massachusetts residents, the jury, will make the final call about imposing death.”

Tsarnaev was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property in two blasts that killed three people and injured more than 200 near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.  Tsarnaev is also accused in the shooting death of an MIT police officer that occurred while he and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, sought to escape Boston in the days after the bombing. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was later killed in a police shoot out in Watertown, Mass. 

The article noted that Filler launched a capital defense clinic while he served on the faculty at the University of Alabama School of Law. Filler was appointed by the Pennsylvania Joint State Government on Capital Punishment to the Advisory Committee on Capital Punishment in 2012.  He has served as chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Law and Humanities and chaired an American Bar Association team that assessed the fairness and accuracy of Alabama’s death-penalty system. The U.S. Supreme Court cited the report that resulted from that assessment in a 2012 ruling that favored a death-row inmate in Alabama.