A couple of weeks back, when the Justice Department endeavored to restart executions of inmates sentenced to death by juries for unspeakable murders only to have federal judges (appointed by President Obama, in the main) throw up roadblocks, I repeated an observation I’ve made several times over the years.
“Because much of the bench is hostile to the death penalty, judges are wont to fashion reasons not to impose it, some of which have nothing ostensibly to do with the death penalty and make prosecution of other types of criminals more difficult,” I wrote.
We saw this again Friday. A federal appeals court in Boston threw out the death sentence of Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who brutally killed three people and injured more than 260 others when he and his late brother, Tamerlan, bombed the 2013 Boston Marathon.
The three-judge panel consisted of two Obama appointees, Judges O. Rogeriee Thompson (who wrote the nearly 200-page opinion) and William J. Kayatta Jr., who formed the majority. A Reagan appointee, Juan R. Torruella, concurred in the result and much of the reasoning.
More from Opinion
Because of the decision’s girth, more time will