The Supreme Court on Friday reinstated the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, The Associated Press reports.
The justices, by a 6-3 vote, agreed with the Biden administration's arguments that a federal appeals court was wrong to throw out the sentence of death a jury imposed on Tsarnaev for his role in the bombing that killed three people in 2013.
“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 for the majority, made up of the court’s six conservative justices.
The court thus reversed the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, which ruled in 2020 that the trial judge improperly excluded evidence that could have shown Tsarnaev was deeply influenced by his older brother, Tamerlan, and was somehow less responsible for the attack.
The appeals court also faulted the judge for not sufficiently questioning jurors about their exposure to extensive news coverage of the bombing.
The Justice Department last June urged the Supreme Court to reinstate the death penalty sentences for Tsarnaev.
In dissent for the court's three liberal justices, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote, “In my view, the Court of Appeals acted lawfully in holding that the District Court should have allowed Dzhokhar to introduce this evidence.”
Had Tsarnaev prevailed at the high court, the administration would have had to decide whether to pursue a new death sentence or allow Tsarnaev to serve out the rest of his life in prison.
Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in 2015 for planting two home-made bombs near the finish line of the race in 2013, killing three people and injuring 264 others.
He was convicted in April of 2015 on 30 charges, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction.
He has confirmed that his older brother Tamerlan was behind the 2013 attack and that he “wanted to defend Islam from attack.”
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)