They’re ditzheads, but they retrained enough sense that they did remand this back to the trial court for a new penalty phase of the trial….so…. a jury could sentence him again to death.
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Law & Crime logoAppeals Court Tosses Death Sentences for Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
A panel of three judges on the First Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated multiple death sentences for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. In so doing, the court dismissed several underlying convictions, but not all of them: “Dzhokhar will remain confined to prison for the rest of his life, with the only question remaining being whether the government will end his life by executing him,” the judges said, hoping their message was “crystal clear.” Elsewhere, the judges repeated their command to make sure their decision was not misinterpreted: “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.”
A jury decided Tsarnaev deserved six death sentences and an additional eleven life sentences for the 2013 attacks which shut down the largest city in New England and resulted in a terrifying search for the attackers.
The panel of judges included Juan R. Torruella (A Ronald Reagan appointee), O. Rogeriee Thompson (a Barack Obama appointee), and William J. Kayatta, Jr. (also an Obama appointee). There were no dissents. (Torruella filed a separate opinion which concurred in part, joined in part, and concurred in the judgment.)
Here is how the court described the backdrop of the events in Boston:
Together with his older brother Tamerlan, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev detonated two homemade bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon, thus committing one of the worst domestic terrorist attacks since the 9/11 atrocities. Radical jihadists bent on killing Americans, the duo caused battlefield-like carnage. Three people died. And hundreds more suffered horrific, life-altering injuries. Desperately trying to flee the state, the brothers also gunned down a local campus police officer in cold blood. Reports and images of their brutality flashed across the TV, computer, and smartphone screens of a terrified public — around the clock, often in real time. One could not turn on the radio either without hearing something about these stunningly sad events. Dzhokhar eventually got caught, though Tamerlan died after a violent confrontation with the police.