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Notebook: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to face civilian court prosecution

Case goes through civilian courts

The Obama administration said it had no choice but to prosecute Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the federal court system. Some politicians had suggested he be tried as an enemy combatant in front of a military tribunal, where defendants are denied some of the usual constitutional protections.

But Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen, and under U.S. law, American citizens cannot be tried by military tribunals, White House spokesman Jay Carney said. Carney said that since 9/11, the federal court system has been used to convict and imprison hundreds of terrorists.

Carney noted that a number of high-profile terrorism cases were handled in the civilian court system, including that of the would-be bomber who tried to bring down a passenger jet around Christmas 2009 with explosives in his underwear.

Moment of silence observed

Shortly after the charges were unveiled, Boston-area residents and many of their well-wishers — including President Barack Obama at the White House — observed a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m. — the moment a week earlier when the bombs exploded.

Across Massachusetts, the silence was broken by the tolling of church bells.

"God bless the people of Massachusetts," said Gov. Deval Patrick at a ceremony outside the Statehouse. "Boston Strong."

Two victims memorialized

Gov. Deval Patrick and Roman Catholic Cardinal Sean O'Malley were among the mourners at St. Joseph Church at the first funeral for one of the victims, Krystle Campbell. The 29-year-old restaurant manager had gone to watch a friend finish the race.

"She was always there for people. As long as Krystle was around, you were okay," said Marishi Charles, who attended the Mass. "These were the words her family wanted you to remember."

Monday evening, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student killed in the bombing was described at her memorial service as a sweet-hearted woman passionate about piano, her studies and life.

Speakers including Lu Lingzi's (loo ling-zuh) father and her roommate say they will never forget the lightness she brought to their lives.

Lu, from Shenyang, China, studied statistics at the school. Friends and faculty say she was an exceptional student with a bubbly personality.

Boston University has launched a scholarship fund in Lu's name.

Doctors: Last patients should live

Doctors announced that everyone injured in the blasts who made it to a hospital alive now seems likely to survive.

That includes several people who arrived with legs attached by just a little skin, a 3-year-old boy with a head wound and bleeding on the brain, and a little girl riddled with nails.

"All I feel is joy," said Dr. George Velmahos, chief of trauma surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, referring to his hospital's 31 blast patients. "Whoever came in alive stayed alive."

As of Monday, 51 people remained hospitalized, three of them in critical condition. At least 14 people lost all or part of a limb; three of them lost more than one.

Times wires

Notebook: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to face civilian court prosecution 04/22/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 12:54am]

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