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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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A look at Obama's immigration plan. Plus, how long Takata knew of problems with its airbags.

A look at Obama's immigration plan. Plus, how long Takata knew of problems with its airbags.

January 30th, 2014
06:30 PM ET

Expert: Hard to think of a crime more qualified for the death penalty than Boston bomber case

(CNN) - Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursdsay that he will seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged Boston bomber.

Federal officials weighed the opinions of victims of the attack in their decision. Survivors were asked to fill out a questionnaire about the death penalty.

"It's hard to think of a crime that more qualifies for it than this one," said CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

"You have extensive pre-meditation, obvious intent to kill, multiple deaths, including an 8-year-old boy. This is a case that if you believe in the death penalty seems to cry out for the death penalty, even though the defendant is only 19 years old and potentially the junior partner to his late brother," said Toobin.

Fellow suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother, was killed during a shootout with Boston police in April.

The government will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Tsarnaev was the bomber, says Toobin, and then there will be a separate trial, the penalty phase, where the government has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there are factors that justify given the death penalty.

"Of course, his lawyers led by Judy Clark who was a legendary death penalty defense lawyer will attempt to show that there are mitigating factors, there are reasons why the jury shouldn't impose the death penalty," said Toobin.

One of the most strategic decisions the defense team will have to decide is where to the case will be tried.

For more of our interview with Jeffrey

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