Justice Department wants Supreme Court to reinstate death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber

Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News on

Published in Political News

Justice Department prosecutors on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to reinstate the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Federal attorneys asserted in a new filing that an appeals court judge erred in overturning the death sentence for Tsarnaev over claims jurors knew too much about the highly publicized case to impose the ultimate punishment.

The decision “improperly vacated the capital sentences recommended by the jury in one of the most important terrorism prosecutions in our nation’s history,” the Justice Department argued.

Prosecutors said jurors’ exposure to news about a case doesn’t mean they can’t be impartial in their decision.

“Thoughtful and informed citizens — the ideal jurors — may serve on a jury so long as they can lay aside their impressions or opinions and render a verdict based on the evidence presented in court,” the Justice Department wrote in the court filing.


There was no immediate response from Tsarnaev’s lawyers. It wasn’t clear when the nation’s highest court might rule on the case.

Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, set off explosives that ripped through the crowd gathered for the April 2013 marathon. The terror attack killed three people, including a young boy, and injured dozens.

The brothers escaped and led cops on a manhunt in which much of the Boston area was put on lockdown. They killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer before being cornered by authorities.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, then 19, was captured and his brother was killed in a shootout with police. Tsarnaev was convicted in 2015 and later sentenced to death.

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