Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has death sentence overturned

Ruben Fields
August 1, 2020

Citing errors by a lower court, a three-judge panel from the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the widely publicized case back to the federal district court that had convicted Tsarnaev in 2015 and ordered six death sentences for him as well as 11 concurrent life sentences.

Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing and their relatives expressed a range of emotions following the Friday ruling from a federal appeals court overturning the death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The death sentence was vacated - BUT there will be a new penalty phase of the trial where it's possible the new jury could still sentence him to death.

Tsarnaev is now incarcerated at a federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

A federal jury in 2015 found Mr. Tsarnaev guilty of all 30 counts he faced and later determined he deserved execution for a bomb he planted that killed eight-year-old Martin Richard and 23-year-old Chinese exchange student Lingzi Lu.

Retired MBTA Transit police sergeant Dic Donohue, who was wounded during the Watertown shootout with Dzhokhar and brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev following the bombing, wrote on Twitter he wasn't surprised by the court's decision.

The lawyers said one of the jurors, who eventually became the jury's foreperson-a chief spokesperson-had dozens of posts on her social media about the bombings that raised questions about her impartially. Those include usage of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, as well as aiding and abetting.

Two astronauts are preparing to return Earth aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship
Behnken said; "We won't leave the space station without some good landing opportunities in front of us, good splashdown weather". Their flight is the first time American astronauts have flown from the USA since NASA's space shuttle program ended in 2011.

The April 15, 2013, attack in Boston left three dead and injured more than 260 others who were in the area after two pressure-cooker bombs were detonated by the Tsarnaev brothers.

On the day of his sentencing, Mr. Tsarnaev admitted his crimes.

Thompson said the pervasive news coverage of the bombings and their aftermath featured "bone-chilling" photos and videos of Tsarnaev and his brother carrying backpacks at the marathon and of those injured and killed near its finish line.

Tsarnaev's lawyers have long argued that intense media coverage of the bombing had made it impossible to have a fair trial in Boston.

The judges said O'Toole deemed jurors who had already formed the opinion that Tsarnaev was guilty qualified "because they answered "yes" to the question whether they could decide this high-profile case based on the evidence".

"If this case did not present a sufficient basis for a change of venue, there are no set of circumstances that will meet this standard, at least not in the First Circuit", he wrote.

"I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering that I have caused you, for the damage I have done, irreparable damage", he said.

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