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Boston bomber’s death sentence overturned

Photo by: Aaron Tang (Wikipedia Commons)

According to multiple reports, on Friday Justice O. Rogeriee Thompson of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston overturned the death sentence meted out to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the now-27-year-old who was convicted for his part in the 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon, which killed three people at the scene including eight-year-old Martin Richard, and injured hundreds of others. (Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, died in a shootout with police three days after the bombings, after killing MIT police officer Sean Collier.) Tsarnaev will face a new trial to determine what sentence he should receive. 

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The Globe and Mail reported today that Tsarnaev, who was 20 at the time of the bombings and whose trial concluded in 2015, is in prison in Florida, and quoted Thompson as saying, “Make no mistake: Dzhokhar will spend his remaining days locked up in prison, with the only matter remaining being whether he will die by execution.”

Some members of the public demonstrated against the death penalty outside the court on June 24, 2015, the day of Tsarnaev’s sentencing.

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The report quotes Thompson saying the trial judge erred in accepting certain jury members’ claims that despite massive publicity surrounding the case, they could impartially assess the evidence presented. At the time, his lawyers argued the case should not have been heard in Boston. 

The race was halted after the two bombs, contained in backpacks, detonated near the finish line on Boylston Street at 2:49 p.m. on April 15, 2013. 

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