Supreme Court Reinstates Death Sentence for Boston Marathon Bomber
The Supreme Court has reinstated the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The ruling came in a 6-3 decision that broke along ideological lines, with the court’s conservative majority siding with the Department of Justice.
The Justice Department had argued that a lower court erred when it vacated Tsarnaev’s death sentence he’d received after being convicted of the 2013 attack.
“Dzohkhar Tsarnaev committed heinous crimes,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the majority opinion. “The Sixth Amendment nonetheless guaranteed him a fair trial before an impartial jury. He received one.”
Tsarnaev, 28, and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, detonated homemade bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, injuring roughly 260 people and killing three, including an 8-year-old child. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during an ensuing search.
The court’s three liberal judges dissented, arguing that Tsarnaev had been improperly prevented from introducing evidence that his older brother coerced him into participating in the attack.
Last July, Attorney General Merrick Garland halted federal executions while the DOJ undertakes a policy review, though the department is still advocating for the death sentence in some cases.