Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in DOJ appeal to reinstate Tsarnaev death sentence

The Supreme Court of the United States is set to hear oral arguments in the federal government’s appeal of the dismissal of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence.

The Biden administration will attempt to persuade the Supreme Court to reinstate the death penalty for Tsarnaev, convicted of the bombing that killed three people and injured over 250 in April of 2013, after a federal appeals court threw out his death sentence last year on the grounds that a trial judge made a mistake in excluding evidence.

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In a 48-page brief filed in June, the DOJ argued that a court of appeals erred in vacating the death penalty over the trial court’s failure to have prospective jurors asked about the specifics of what news reports they had seen about the case. Also cited was the refusal to allow what the defense believed would be mitigating evidence related to the role Tsarnaev’s brother may have played in a separate triple-murder case.

“The court of appeals improperly vacated the capital sentences recommended by the jury in one of the most important terrorism prosecutions in our nation’s history,” the DOJ said in their brief.

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