Supreme Court To Hear Arguments On Possible Death Penalty For Boston Bomber

( The Supreme Court will soon take up the case of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Specifically, the court will hear oral arguments from the federal government over why it believes Tsarnaev’s death sentence shouldn’t have been dismissed.

Tsarnaev was a part of the bombing that injured more than 250 people and killed three during the Boston Marathon. In April 2013, he was convicted for his role in the incident and eventually sentenced to death.

A federal appeals court, though, overruled that sentence last year, giving him life in prison instead of the death sentence. The judge in that case ruled that the original trial judge erred in excluding certain evidence from the case.

The Department of Justice filed an appeal to that decision in June, though, with a brief saying the appeals court is the one that erred. The appeals court ruled that the trial judge was wrong not to have potential jurors in the case asked about the specifics of which news reports they had heard or seen about the case before being selected.

The trial judge also refused to allow defense team to use evidence they believed would’ve been mitigating in relation to what role Tsarnaev’s brother had in a separate case of triple murder.

In the brief they filed a few months ago, the DOJ wrote:

“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. This court should reverse the decision below and put this case back on track toward a just conclusion.”

The DOJ argued that the process of jury selection in the original case was thorough. Questions related to exposure to media reports were asked. There also wasn’t a requirement that every person be asked those detailed questions about what they specifically had seen up to that point.

The other issue at hand is a decision by the district court to not allow any evidence related to a separate triple murder that Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, was accused of being involved in.

The legal team for Tsarnaev was arguing their client was under the influence of his brother, fearing for his own life because of the actions his brother had taken in that separate case.

Ibragim Todashev, a friend of Tamerlan, also implicated himself and Tsarnaev’s brother in that case.

While the Biden administration is seeking to uphold Tsarnaev’s death sentence, it is also promising to end the death penalty completely — which provides contrasting stances. In fact, there is now a federal moratorium on executions that was announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland while his department reviews the practice, of which he said he’s got “serious concerns.”

This week, Jen Psaki, the press secretary for the White House, deflected a question on Biden’s position on the death penalty. She said:

“I don’t have anything more on this case,” before directing all questions to the Department of Justice.