Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Biography, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Wiki
A federal appeals court Friday overturned the death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, convicted after helping his brother plant two pressure-cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon in 2013, killing three people and leaving hundreds more with serious injuries.
A three-judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the judge failed to allow enough questioning of potential jurors about how extensively they followed media coverage of the bombings.
“A core promise of our criminal justice system is that even the very worst among us deserves to be fairly tried and lawfully punished,” the court said.
The 182-page opinion said long-standing court decisions require a judge handling a high profile case to let defense lawyers ask prospective jurors extensive questions about the kind and degree of their exposure to media coverage. “But despite a diligent effort, the judge here did not meet the standard,” the opinion stated.
As a result of the ruling, Tsarnaev must be given a new sentencing hearing, although his conviction stands.
“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 court said, using his first name to avoid confusion in the ruling with his older brother, Tamerlan, who died in a shootout with police four days after the bombing.
A spokeswoman for Boston’s U.S. Attorney, Andrew Lelling, said the office is reviewing the decision and will have more to say “in the coming days and weeks.”