Federal Appeals Court Tosses Boston Marathon Bomber’s Death Sentence

A federal appeals court on Friday tossed the death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man convicted in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

NBCDFW reports 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.

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.

The judges noted that the Boston court has a longstanding rule obligating such an inquiry.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers say one of the jurors — who would go one to become the jury’s foreperson, or chief spokesperson — published two dozen tweets in the wake of the bombings. One post after Tsarnaev’s capture called him a “piece of garbage.”

“The Boston community will never forget the tragic events of April 15, 2013. Precious souls were lost, and countless lives were changed forever,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement Friday. “Since the first trial, we have always known that the perpetrator of that horrific violence would never leave the four corners of a prison cell.”

“I have always supported the judicial process, and regardless of the ultimate outcome in this case, my focus will always be on supporting the families, the survivors, and all the people of our great city,” Walsh added. “Nothing will ever replace what we lost in 2013. But with each new day, the Boston community continues to find new strength and healing in one another. That’s something that no one can ever take from us.”

Tsarnaev was convicted on 30 charges, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction. An email was sent to his lawyer seeking comment.