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Supreme Court reinstates death sentence of Boston Marathon bomber – WAVY.com

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FILE – This file photo released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on April 19, 2013 shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted of orchestrating the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260 became. A response from prosecutors is due Thursday. June 27, 2019, appeal of the death penalty for the Boston Marathon bomber. Tsarnaev has been on federal death row since his conviction in 2015. (FBI via AP, file)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has reinstated the death sentence for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Judges on Friday agreed 6-3 on the Biden administration’s arguments that a federal appeals court wrongly overturned the death sentence a jury imposed on Tsarnaev for his role in the bombing that killed three people near the finish line of the 2013 marathon.

The 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled in 2020 that the trial judge had wrongly ruled out evidence that could have shown Tsarnaev was heavily influenced by his older brother Tamerlane and was somehow less responsible for the slaughter. The appeals court also accused the judge of not questioning the jury enough about their exposure to the extensive coverage of the bombing.

“Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed heinous crimes. The Sixth Amendment nevertheless guaranteed him a fair trial before an impartial jury. He got one,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority, made up of the court’s six conservative justices.

Contrasting with the court’s three liberal judges, Judge Stephen Breyer wrote: “In my view, the Court of Appeal acted lawfully in ruling that the Dzhokhar District Court should have allowed this evidence to be presented.”

Breyer has asked the court to reconsider the death penalty. “I have written elsewhere about the problems inherent in a system that allows the use of the death penalty… This case is just another example of some of those problems,” he wrote.

The prospect that Tsarnaev, now 28, will be executed anytime soon is slim. The Justice Department halted federal executions last summer after the Trump administration carried out 13 executions in the past six months.

President Joe Biden has said he opposes the death penalty, but his administration has been empowered to defend Tsarnaev’s ruling in the Supreme Court.

Tsarnaev’s guilt in the death of Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student from China; Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager from Medford, Massachusetts; and 8-year-old Martin Richard of Boston was not up for debate, only whether he should be killed or spend the rest of his life in prison.

Tsarnaev was convicted of all 30 charges against him, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction and the murder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Officer Sean Collier during the Tsarnaev brothers’ escape attempt. The Court of Appeals upheld all but a few of his convictions.

October’s High Court clashes focused on evidence implicating Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a triple murder in the Boston suburb of Waltham on the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The evidence supported the defense team’s theory that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was indoctrinated and radicalized by his older brother.

The trial judge had rejected that argument, ruling that the evidence linking Tamerlane to the Waltham murders was unreliable and irrelevant to Dzhokhar’s participation in the marathon attack. The judge also said the defense team’s argument would only confuse the jury.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died shortly after the marathon attack. He was involved in a shootout with police and was run over by his brother while trying to escape hours before police arrested a bloodied and wounded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston suburb of Watertown.

https://www.wavy.com/news/politics/high-court-reimposes-boston-marathon-bombers-death-sentence/ Supreme Court reinstates death sentence of Boston Marathon bomber – WAVY.com

Russell Falcon

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