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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Supreme Court to consider Boston Marathon bomber’s fate

The Biden administration will try to convince the nation’s highest court next week to reinstate the death penalty for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, arguing a jury doesn’t need to examine evidence the feds relied on during an earlier phase of the case.

Tsarnaev’s guilt in the horrific attack near the finish line of the 2013 marathon, which killed three and injured 260 people, won’t be at issue when justices for the US Supreme Court hear the case Wednesday. The only question before the justices is whether the 28-year-old should be sentenced to life in prison, or death.

Nor will justices likely review the administration’s aggressive pursuit of a capital sentence for Tsarnaev — even as it has halted federal executions and President Joe Biden has called for the elimination of the death penalty.

Instead, the justices’ main focus will be on evidence Tsarnaev’s lawyers believe supports their argument that his older brother, Tamerlan, masterminded the attack and emotionally dominated his younger brother into terrorist activity. The evidence implicated Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a triple killing in the Boston suburb of Waltham on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Runners continue to run towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the 2013 race.
REUTERS/Dan Lampariello/Files
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted of all 30 charges against him.
FBI via AP, File
The blasts killed three and injured more than 260 people.
The blasts killed three and injured more than 260 people.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File

A federal appeals court in Boston ruled last year that the trial judge made a mistake in excluding the evidence and throwing out Tsarnaev’s death sentence.

Former Attorney General Bill Barr told the Associated Press last year that the administration of President Donald Trump would do “whatever’s necessary” to reinstate Tsarnaev’s death penalty.

The Trump administration appealed the lower court ruling, and the US Supreme Court agreed to review the case after the Biden administration didn’t indicate any change of view.

Tsarnaev was convicted of all 30 charges against him, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction. The appeals court upheld all but a few of his convictions.

With Post wire services


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