CRIME

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Rolling Stone magazine cover

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Never a publication to shy away from controversy, Rolling Stone has placed Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of this month's edition.

The August issue of Rolling Stone features a headshot that Tsarnaev took himself at an unknown time and place. The headline, "The Bomber," teases to a story about the 19-year-old accused killer.

Rolling Stone's story focuses on Tsarnaev's fall from being a popular student into radical Islam.

The fallout was felt almost immediately. Retailers Tedeschi's, Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS said they won't sell the latest issue of the magazine, Boston Magazine reports.

Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty last week to multiple charges in connection to the April 15 bombing, which killed three people and injured hundreds more.

He was previously indicted on charges of bombing a public place, destruction of property, carjacking and multiple firearms offenses.

The article is a lengthy in depth look at how a popular teen turned into radical Islamist accused of killing and maiming innocent people. For that reason, Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple argued it's journalism.

“I don't think it is irresponsible. I don't think it is inaccurate and I don't think it is any way depraved as many of the objectors have said,” he said.

The editors of Rolling Stone issued the following statement at the top of the online article, which was published Wednesday:

"Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens..."

The magazine hits stands Friday.


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