UNITED STATES — On Monday, March 22, the United States Supreme Court announced that it will review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that overturned the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in July 2020.
Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson wrote in a 224-page opinion on July 31, 2020 that “Dzhokhar will remain in prison for the rest of his life, with the only question remaining being whether the government will end his life by executing him.”
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this fall with a final decision sometime in 2022.
On April 15, 2013 at the Boston Marathon, two bombs exploded about twelve seconds apart at 2:49 p.m. by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his older brother. Three were killed and more than 250 people were injured.
A few days later on April 18, 2013, both brothers carjacked a car and were eventually chased by police and exchanged gunshots. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died from gunfire wounds at Beth Israel Hospital.
After driving off, Dzhokhar was arrested the following day and officially charged on April 22, 2013 for “conspiring to use weapon on mass destruction against persons and property in U.S. resulting in death,” the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office tweeted that day.
In a press briefing on March 22, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki did not say how President Joe Biden views the Boston bomber’s case, but said that the President has “grave concerns about whether capital punishment, as currently implemented, is consistent with the values that are fundamental to our sense of justice and fairness.”
President Biden wants to eliminate the death penalty after spending most of his political career supporting it. In a 2000 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, then-Senator Joe Biden said: “I support the death penalty. . .Let me put it this way: I don’t oppose the death penalty on moral grounds, but I have been fastidious. . .that if you’re going to have a death penalty, you had better go get out of your way to make sure you don’t execute an innocent person,” according to Politico in 2019.
When he was running as a presidential candidate in 2020, Biden said he will “work to pass legislation to eliminate the death penalty at the federal level, and incentivize states to follow the federal government’s example” and said “individuals should instead serve life sentences without probation or parole,” states his campaign website.
The news that the Supreme Court is going to reconsider reinstating the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev comes nearly three months after it was revealed that Tsarnaev is suing the federal government for a quarter of a million dollars for treatment he claims is “disturbing” and “unprofessional” as well as accusing guards for being “unlawful, unreasonable, and discriminatory,” according to the Boston Herald.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is currently serving a life sentence at a super-maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He has been there for nearly six years.