All five Democrats running for Mass. governor oppose death penalty for Tsarnaev

All five Democratic candidates for governor of Massachusetts said Thursday that they opposed the death penalty for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Asked at an afternoon debate whether he should face the prospect of execution, a couple of them said they opposed the death penalty. Asked to clarify whether it should be used even in the case of someone like Tsarnaev, all five said "no."

The candidates at the debate were state Attorney General Martha Coakley (the favorite), state Treasurer Steve Grossman, former Department of Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem, former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Don Berwick, and former Wellesley selectman Joe Avellone. Gov. Deval Patrick (D) is not seeking reelection.

The Justice Department announced last week that it would seek the death penalty for Tsarnaev, who stands accused of killing three people and injuring more than 200 others.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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Aaron Blake · February 7, 2014