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Supreme Court Upholds Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Death Sentence




The Supreme Court has decided to uphold the death sentence dealt out to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — one of the two brothers responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. On Friday, March 4, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that “Tsarnaev committed heinous crimes. The Sixth Amendment nonetheless guaranteed him a fair trial before an impartial jury. He received one.”

The judges’ decision reversed the ruling made by a federal appeals court that had taken away the death penalty for the bomber and ordered a new penalty-phase trial. At that time, they stated that Tsarnaev would remain incarcerated for the rest of his life.  However, at that trial mistakes regarding issues related to pretrial publicity, as well as the exclusion of evidence that might have helped Tsarnaev’s case were made, according to CNN.


Courtesy of Rebecca Hildreth (Flickr CC0)

The Boston Marathon bomber was convicted in 2015 for the deaths of Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, and Martin Richard — passed away the day of the bombing — Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier succumbed to his injuries seven days later. He was also found guilty of other charges.

The bombs were placed near the marathon’s finish line by Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan. When the suspects set off the bombs, shrapnel burst out injuring hundreds of people and ultimately killing four. The sidewalks were littered with BBs, nails, metal scraps, and glass fragments afterward.

The second bomber died later on in a gunfight with police. Tsarnaev is currently being held in a federal prison located in Florence, Colorado. He has been there since being found guilty.

Originally the Trump administration had asked the Supreme Court to reinstate the death penalty. The Biden administration resumed the request. They called the bomber a “terrorist” who acted in “furtherance of Jihad.” Biden’s administration urged the courts to reinstate the jury’s recommendation of death after the “carnage at the finish line.”

However, the Biden administration has a strong position on the federal death penalty so it is unclear if Tsarnaev will actually be put to death.

Written by Sheena Robertson


CNN: Supreme Court upholds death sentence of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; by Ariane de Vogue
The New York Times: Supreme Court Restores Death Sentence for Boston Marathon Bomber; by Adam Liptak

Top and Featured Image Julien Chatelain’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Rebecca HildrethFollow’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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