The U.S. Supreme Court reinstated Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence Friday.
Tsarnaev was sentenced to death for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and wounded upwards of 260 others, Reuters reported. The Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision Friday to side with the Justice Department challenge to the 2020 Federal Appeals court ruling that upheld the initial conviction but overturned the death sentence Tsarnaev received.
“Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed heinous crimes. The Sixth Amendment nonetheless guaranteed him a fair trial before an impartial jury. He received one,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote. Thomas is one of six conservative justices on the Court, all of whom voted to reinstate Tsarnaev’s death sentence; the three liberal judges dissented, Reuters reported.
In the decision, the Supreme Court faulted the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals on it’s findings that Tsarnaev’s right to a fair trial was violated and that the judge wrongly excluded evidence about another, separate crime, according to the outlet.
Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, planted and detonated two homemade bombs, manufactured from pressure-cookers, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, the court described at the start of their decision. The two brothers then murdered a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer, carjacked a student, fought in a street battle with police, wherein Tsarnaev ran over and killed his brother, the court went on. Tsarnaev was 19 at the time, Reuters reported, and was convicted on all courts related to his actions.
Tsarnaev was also suspected of a triple homicide in 2011, according to NBC News. The three liberal dissenting judges said that the original jury should have been allowed to hear evidence related to the earlier homicides, NBC noted.
Vice President Kamala Harris previously stated that she believes Tsarnaev deserved the right to vote.
While staring at the floor to avoid eye contact with anyone, Kamala Harris says the Boston bomber should be able to vote. pic.twitter.com/ZPpIjWnK1B
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 23, 2019
In March 2021, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that President Biden had “grave concerns about whether capital punishment, as currently implemented, is consistent with the values that are fundamental to our sense of justice and fairness,” Reuters reported.
NBC commented that, despite Attorney General Merrick Garland ordering a moratorium of executions within the federal system, Biden’s Justice Department continues to uphold the Trump administration’s defense of the death sentence for the bombing.
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