Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's death sentence overturned |


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  vic-eldred  •  6 days ago  •  11 comments

By:   john-waller (Boston. com)

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's death sentence overturned |

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

-Jane Flavell Collins / Reuters, File By The AP updated on July 31, 2020 | 5:21 PM

A federal appeals court Friday threw out Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's death sentence in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, saying the judge who oversaw the case did not adequately screen jurors for potential biases.

A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new penalty-phase trial on whether the 27-year-old Tsarnaev should be executed for the attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

"But 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," the judges said, more than six month after arguments were heard in the case.

An email seeking comment was sent to an attorney for Tsarnaev. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston said they were reviewing the opinion and had no immediate comment.

Tsarnaev's lawyers acknowledged at the beginning of his trial that he and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, set off the two bombs at the marathon finish line. But they argued that Dzhokar Tsarnaev is less culpable than his brother, who they said was the mastermind behind the attack.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a gunbattle with police a few days after the April 15, 2013, bombing. Dzhokar Tsarnaev is now behind bars at a high-security supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

Tsarnaev was convicted on 30 charges, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Tsarnaev's attorneys identified a slew of issues with his trial, but said in a brief filed with the court that the "first fundamental error" was the judge's refusal to move the case out of Boston. They also pointed to social media posts from two jurors suggesting they harbored strong opinions even before the 2015 trial started.

One juror had said in Twitter posts that that she was "locked down" with her family during the manhunt and retweeted another post calling Tsarnaev a "piece of garbage," but later told the court she had not commented on the case or been asked to shelter in place, the defense said. On the day of Tsarnaev's sentencing, the juror changed her Facebook profile picture to an image that said "BOSTON STRONG," a rallying cry used in the wake of the bombing, the attorneys said.

Tsarnaev's lawyers pushed several times to move the trial from Boston, arguing the intense media scrutiny and number of people touched by the bombings in the city would taint the jury pool. But U.S. District Judge George O'Toole refused, saying he believed a fair and impartial jury could be found in the city.

The 1st Circuit said the "pervasive" media coverage featuring "bone-chilling still shots and videos" of the bombing and dayslong manhunt required the judge to run a jury selection process "sufficient to identify prejudice."

But O'Toole fell short, the judges said.

They 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." Yet he didn't sufficiently dig into what jurors had read or heard about the case, the judges said.

"By not having the jurors identify what it was they already thought they knew about the case, the judge made it too difficult for himself and the parties to determine both the nature of any taint (e.g., whether the juror knew something prejudicial not to be conceded at trial) and the possible remedies for the taint," the judges wrote.

President Donald Trump weighed in on the ruling during an address to supporters on the tarmac of Tampa International Airport.

"I see in Boston, where you have the animal that killed so many people during the Boston Marathon," Trump said. "They just sent this conviction for the death penalty back to the lower courts so they'll argue about that for a long time. It's ridiculous."

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Vic Eldred
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    6 days ago

As in the Stone case, there was a failure of the court to press jurors on postings of social media. 

Notice how differently the two cases were handled.

2  Freefaller    6 days ago
ordered a new penalty-phase trial on whether the 27-year-old Tsarnaev should be executed

Here's hoping the new trial comes back with the same penalty

3  Gsquared    6 days ago

He should be executed as soon as possible.

3.1  MAGA  replied to  Gsquared @3    6 days ago

That’s for sure!  By the most painful method we can legally use.  

3.1.1  Gsquared  replied to  MAGA @3.1    6 days ago

For once, we are in 100% agreement.

3.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  MAGA @3.1    6 days ago
By the most painful method we can legally use.  

Why?   You think torture is moral?    We can always use the medieval hang, draw and quarter technique:

The convicted traitor was fastened to a hurdle , or wooden panel, and drawn by horse to the place of execution, where he was then hanged (almost to the point of death), emasculated , disembowelled , beheaded , and quartered (chopped into four pieces).


  If this were legal today, would you be cheering this on?

3.1.3  GregTx  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.2    6 days ago

For those that intend to kill indiscriminately? With no regard at all for anybody else's life? Hmmmm.....

3.1.4  TᵢG  replied to  GregTx @3.1.3    6 days ago

Yes, for the worst possible offenders do we sanction torture?

4  zuksam    6 days ago

He'd be dead already if he were in General Population. Let him share a cell with Bubba for the next 40 years.

4.1  Gsquared  replied to  zuksam @4    6 days ago

The parents of Martin Richard, the 8 year old boy that the monster slaughtered, did not want the monster to receive the death penalty.  I think I can understand their feelings.  As they feared, this will undoubtedly tear open the wound that they, and the loved ones of the other victims, are trying to heal.  Our thoughts should be with them only.  To my thinking, however, a swift execution would be the best solution.

He wouldn't last a day in General Population.  

5  Snuffy    6 days ago

As I've said before, I'm against the death penalty.  Not because I believe it's a cruel and unusual punishment, but because of the way it is run in this country it, IMO, is a huge waste of resources. The average person on death row spends almost 25 years with appeals and the like, that's a lot of additional time and cost spent on top of already having to imprison the person. Rather than a death sentence I would rather have it set to life without parole.


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