WASHINGTON: The high profile case of prosecuting Boston Marathon bombing suspect – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – has been entrusted to two noted American attorneys one of whom is an Indian-American.
A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University and Emory Law School, Aloke Chakravarty is an assistant US attorney for the district of Massachusetts.
Announcing the charges against Tsarnaev, who has been charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property in US resulting in death, the justice department said the case is being prosecuted by the assistant US attorneys William Weinreb and Aloke Chakravarty from the anti-terrorism and national security unit of the US attorney’s office for district of Massachusetts.
Over the past 15 years, Chakravarty has been a prosecutor in different contexts — as an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, in the criminal division of the Massachusetts attorney general’s office, for the US Department of Justice, and for the United Nations at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
He has also served in Washington DC as assistant general counsel at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and as attorney-advisor at the justice department’s office of intelligence policy.
Although he currently focuses on cases involving national security and human rights, Chakravarty has prosecuted and otherwise investigated matters across the criminal spectrum, including juvenile justice, violent crime, drug and gun offences, white collar crime, public corruption and organised crime.
He has also participated in preventative, diversionary and rehabilitative efforts and regularly leads outreach activities.
He has received the Massachusetts bar association’s access to justice award and the attorney general’s award for distinguished service.
In an interview to the India-US Business Journal in 2009, Chakravarty credited a “rich and diverse” undergraduate education at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore with helping introduce him to a possible career in law.
He said he decided to attend law school “to see if I liked it,” a decision he came to acclaim.
“I loved it,” Chakravarty said. “I realised that this was a field in which you can speak up for those that can’t speak for themselves,” he then said.
After attending Emory University Law School in Atlanta, Chakravarty was recruited to work at several large law firms, the Journal said.
Instead, he opted to pass up a lucrative career in corporate law to become a county prosecutor, a position notorious for its low pay and strenuous workloads and a field in which Chakravarty acknowledged he had “not one day of experience,” it reported in an article in 2009.
“The idea of standing up for the little guy really appealed to me. But it was a bit of a gamble. I was throwing myself into potential chaos,” Chakravarty told the Business Journal.