US Supreme Court to Consider Boston Bomber Death Penalty Repeal Case

© AP Photo / Jane Flavell CollinsDzhokhar Tsarnaev
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev  - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.10.2021
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US Supreme Court will start considering the Justice Department's request to reinstate the Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev death sentence on Wednesday.
“The Court will hear United States v. Tsarnaev at 10 a.m. EST [14:00 GMT] and the argument is scheduled to last one hour," a Supreme Court spokesperson told Sputnik.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who carried out a bomb attack at the 2013 Boston Marathon alongside his older brother Tamerlan, was sentenced to death by a jury in 2015. Last July, however, the Boston-based First US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the sentence, arguing that prospective jurors had not been questioned by the court about whether they had prior biases about the case before the trial began.
The final decision may take several months, as the court has no time limits, the spokesperson explained.
“No one knows exactly when a decision will be handed down by the Court in an argued case, but in general, a case will be decided during the Term in which it is argued,” he said.
In June 2021, the US Department of Justice asked the Supreme court to reinstate the death penalty. “The judgment of the court of appeals should be reversed,” the DOJ said at that time.
Members of the jury considered Tsarnaev’s crimes and decided that capital punishment should be inflicted, it added.
Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is shown in a courtroom sketch after he is sentenced at the federal courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts May 15, 2015 - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.07.2020
US Appeals Court Overturns Death Sentence of Boston Marathon Bomber Tsarnaev
Supreme Court should decide, whether the court of appeals made an error in its conclusion on the death penalty, according to the notice published on the Supreme Court’s website. Judges also will determine, “whether the district court committed a reversible error at the penalty phase of respondent’s trial by excluding evidence that respondent’s older brother was allegedly involved in different crimes two years before the offenses for which respondent was convicted.”
Supreme Court was originally asked to hear the case in 2020 but accepted the case in March.
US government officials called the Tsarnaev case one of the most important terrorism-related proceedings in the country’s history.
The Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, killed three people and injured hundreds of others. Dzhokhar and his older brother Tamerlan were found guilty of the attack. Tamerlan was killed by the police while on the run on April 19 of the same year, while Dzhokhar was arrested the following day and sentenced to death by lethal injection in May 2015.
Dzhokhar will remain in prison for life because he has not challenged the life sentences against him.
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