Boston bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers are at the “preliminary, delicate stage” of negotiations to spare him the death penalty in exchange for his cooperation, two government sources have told CNN.
The news of the negotiations — which the sources said were standard procedure — comes after a new Washington Post/ABC News poll found the majority of 1,000 adults surveyed want the 19-year-old suspect to get the death penalty.
The poll shows 70% of those surveyed support the death penalty for Tsarnaev.
Tsarnaev, who has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, would probably be sentenced to life in prison if he agrees to this plea deal and is convicted, NPR reports.
However, “communications are in the very early stages,” according to CNN, and don’t indicate whether either side is ready to make a deal. Justice department officials told CNN that these aren’t formal negotiations and no plea deals have been struck.
Federal authorities have not announced whether they will seek the death penalty in Tsarnaev’s case.
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