Now that he’s been formally sentenced to death, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will become a resident of federal death row, joining 61 other killers who’ve been condemned to die by lethal injection at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, In., reports NBC News. There he will wait, likely for a very long time. How long depends on a range of factors, mainly the strength of his legal appeals and the future of lethal injection drugs. It’s safe to assume that it will be several years before he is put to death.
Since the federal government reinstated the death penalty in 1988, 75 inmates have been sent to death row, says the Death Penalty Information Center. Ten have been removed, and only three have been executed. The last man to die there was Louis Jones Jr., in 2003, eight years after he was sentenced for murdering a U.S. soldier. The other two, marijuana kingpin Juan Raul Garza and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, waited eight years and four years, respectively, for their executions. There is an effective moratorium on federal executions because the U.S. government’s lethal injection policy is being revised. The drug called for in the protocol is no longer available, and it won’t be easy to find replacement drugs.