High Court Asked to Reinstate Death Penalty for Boston Marathon Bomber

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The Department of Justice has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider reinstating the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bombers, Boston Globe reported Tuesday. The 2013 bombing masterminded by Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, left three people dead and over 250 injured. The DOJ argued in a brief that Tsarnaev’s role in the bombings warranted the death penalty and therefore the court should reinstate it. “The jury carefully considered each of [Tsarnaev’s] crimes and determined that capital punishment was warranted for the horrors that he personally inflicted — setting down a shrapnel bomb in a crowd and detonating it, killing a child and a promising young student, and consigning several others ‘to a lifetime of unimaginable suffering,’” the administration wrote in its briefing.

Although the U.S. District Court jury in Boston voted for the death penalty in 2015 for six of the 17 capital charges Tsarnaev faced, the First Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the sentence last year when it found the trial judge wrongly kept evidence from the jury of a triple homicide committed by Tamerlan in 2011 and did not ensure the jury was free of bias due to media coverage. Tsarnaev’s attorney argue his brother, who was killed when Dzhokhar ran him over with a stolen car after being followed by the police, was the mastermind behind the bombings and emotionally dominated Tsarnaev, forcing him to commit terrorist activity. Despite this, the Biden administration argued Tsarnaev made his own decisions, including when he planted the bomb at the Boston Marathon finish line. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case this fall.

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