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Supreme Court Will Hear Boston Bomber Death Sentence Appeal

(Photo provided by FBI via Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg General Assignment Reporter
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The Supreme Court will consider reimposing the death sentence on convicted Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev’s death sentence was overturned by a federal appeals court in July 2020 after it ruled that the jury that imposed the sentence was not impartial. The Justice Department immediately appealed that ruling.

Tsarnaev was convicted of 30 counts related to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three and injured at least 260. Tsarnaev’s older brother Tamerlan, who also was involved in planning and carrying out the bombing, was killed while the two brothers were on the run from police. The Tsarnaev brothers also killed a police officer who helped search for them. (RELATED: ‘F*ck You, I Can Walk’: Survivor Informs Boston Bomber He’s Taken Nothing From Her)

Tsarnaev’s lawyers successfully argued at the First Circuit Court of Appeals that negative media coverage of the bombing improperly influenced jurors’ opinions of the defendant. Then-Attorney General Bill Barr said that the Justice Department would “do whatever’s necessary” to carry out Tsarnaev’s sentence. “We will take it up to the Supreme Court and we will continue to pursue the death penalty.”

Even if the Supreme Court reimposes the death penalty, the Biden administration is not legally required to execute Tsarnaev, according to the Associated Press.

President Joe Biden reversed his long-standing support for the death penalty during the Democratic presidential primaries. The 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which Biden spearheaded, created 60 new capital offenses. Biden said in 2019 that America must eliminate the death penalty “because we can’t ensure that that we get these cases right every time.” Groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International signed a letter in February urging Biden to commute all federal death sentences.