The death sentence of the Boston Bomber is awaiting a Supreme Court decision.
The death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may be reinstated by the Supreme Court after it was vacated by a federal appeals court.
Despite Attorney General Merrick Garland’s decision to stay federal executions, President Joe Biden will urge the Supreme Court to overturn the “erroneous” judgment in order to reinstate Tsarnaev’s death sentence.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers say that even if the top court affirmed his death sentence, problems with the jury and the evidence provided during his trial would result in the death penalty being annulled once more.
Tsarnaev was found guilty of conspiring with his older brother Tamerlan to detonate two homemade pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, killing three people, including an eight-year-old boy, and injuring hundreds more in “one of the worst domestic terrorist attacks since the 9/11 atrocities,” according to the Supreme Court.
Tamerlan, 26, killed days later in a shootout with police, and Dzhokhar, then 19, was discovered hiding in a boat moored in a backyard hours later.
Tsarnaev was found guilty on 30 counts, with six of them carrying the death penalty recommendation, including the use of weapons of mass destruction that murdered people.
The First Circuit of Appeals unanimously overturned Tsarnaev’s death sentence in July 2020, ruling that the trial judge had neglected to allow enough questioning of potential jurors about how closely they watched the news coverage following the explosion.
Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson said in her decision that one of the “fundamental promises of our criminal justice system” is that “even the worst among us deserves to be fairly tried and rightfully punished.” The verdict was later attacked by then-President Donald Trump, who branded it “stupid” during his final seven months in power, when his administration carried out 13 executions.
In a brief to the court, Acting Solicitor General Brain Fletcher argued that the court’s “fair and careful supervision” produced a “impartial jury that delivered a nuanced verdict ordering capital sentence exclusively for the killings that respondent personally committed.”
The court also stated that the judge should have permitted Tsarnaev’s lawyers to bring up a triple-murder perpetrated by his brother Tamerlan in order to show Tsarnaev was easily misled by his brother, whom they dubbed the mastermind, and so absolve Tsarnaev of responsibility for the bombs.
Tsarnaev will remain on death row in Colorado’s supermax prison if the top court upholds his death sentence. If the Circuit Court’s decision is upheld by the Supreme Court. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.