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Why Tsarnaev May Never Make It To The Death Chamber

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is years from the death chamber -- if he ever makes it -- despite Friday's sentence by a federal jury.

A lengthy appeals process, as well as legal and technical complications with lethal injection, are just some of the factors that could prevent Tsarnaev, 21, from receiving the punishment the jury imposed:

Few Federal Death Row Prisoners Ever Get Executed

Tsarnaev, who will be formally sentenced by a judge this summer, is poised to be the first terrorist in the post-9/11 erato be executed.

But the government has a thin track record of actually executing federal death row prisoners.Federal courts have handed down death sentences 80 timessince the federal death penalty was reinstated in 1988, but only three inmates have been executed.

The Appeals Process Could Take Years

Timothy McVeigh, convicted in 1997 of bombing a federal building in Oklahoma City, was on death row at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, for four years before abandoning his appeals, expediting his execution.

Unless Tsarnaev similarly gives up, he will engage a lengthy appeals process at a time whensupport for the death penalty is at a 40-year low in the U.S.

Tsarnaev's defense likely will file several post-trial motions, which may include objections tothe fact the trial was held in Boston, denying him a truly impartial jury. Other motions could arise if information surfaces that jurors were untruthful on disclosure forms, or that there was impropriety during deliberations in the jury room,WBUR reports.

The Death Sentence Could Be Tossed Out Or Vacated

A judge overseeing Tsarnaev's appeal has the power to throw out or otherwise vacate the Boston jury's sentence based on new evidence or prosecutorial decisions made in the post-conviction phase. In one such example, confessed killer Gary Lee Sampson was handed the death penalty, only to have the sentence vacated when it was revealed that one of the jurors lied during the screening process,The Boston Globe reports.

Lethal Injection Is In Legal -- And Logistical -- Limbo

A long-simmering battle over lethal injection in the 32 states that still allow capitol punishment --soon possibly 31 -- boiled over into the U.S. Supreme Court in April,when justices took up the constitutionality of specific lethal injection drug.

As a result, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons doesn't have the drugs to carry out lethal injection.

"The Department of Justice has been conducting a review of the federal protocol used by the Bureau of Prisons, and has had a moratorium in place on federal executions in the meantime," Patrick Rodenbush, a spokesman for the department,told The Washington Post in a statement.

If the Justice Department decides later to allow lethal injections, it will still facethe same drug supply shortage that state departments of correction have been grappling with for the past several years.

As For The Victims...

Death penalty opponents have noted the long process that awaits not just Tsarnaev, but the hundreds of victims of the 2013 tragedy. In April, the parents of 8-year-old Richard Martinpenned a passionate op-ed in the Globe pleading for the Justice Department to drop the death penalty against Tsarnaev. Richard was one of the four people killed in the bombing. His family argued that life without parole is the only way to close the book on the tragedy:
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The National Transportation and Safety Board revealed Thursday that the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia Tuesday night was accelerating seconds before it entered a sharp turn and crashed.Eight passengers have been confirmed dead, and more than 200 were injured.

Robert Sumwalt of the NTSB said his team was building a timeline of what happened leading up to the crash based on video footage that cut out seconds before the crash. At 43 seconds before the end of the video, the train's speed exceeded 80 miles per hour, Sumwalt said. Thirty-one seconds before the end, the train was going over 90 miles per hour, and 16 seconds before the crash, the train was going over 100 miles per hour.

The NTSB also said the train's engineer, Bradon Bostian, applied emergency brakes seconds before the crash.
Teen Dies After Being Electrocuted Taking Selfie Atop Train

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - A teenager has died after she was electrocuted while taking selfies atop a parked train in northeast Romania.

Anna Ursu, 18, was hospitalized in the St. Spiridon Hospital in the city of Iasi on Friday with severe burns after she apparently touched a high-voltage wire above the train, which was parked in Iasi. A friend was also hospitalized in the St. Maria hospital with slight injuries, hospital spokesman Lucian Cernahonschi Wednesday. Ursu was transferred to the Bucharest Burns Hospital where she died on Sunday.

Anisia Iliescu at the hospital's emergency department on Wednesday it was impossible to save the girl. "Her whole body was burned," Iliescu said.
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