This article was originally published March 22, 2021, by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
The U.S. Supreme Court says it will consider reinstating the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, agreeing to hear an appeal filed by the administration of former President Donald Trump.
The court said on March 22 that it had “granted permission” for an appeal filed by the Trump administration to be heard, but gave no further details.
Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen who was born in Kyrgyzstan, was convicted in 2015 of killing three people and injuring hundreds of others during the 2013 Boston Marathon.
An appeals court in Boston last July overturned the death sentence that had been handed to the 27-year-old and ordered a new trial to determine what penalty he should receive. The court found that the judge who oversaw the case did not sufficiently vet jurors for biases.
Legal analysts expect the case will be heard in the fall, setting up a test for President Joe Biden, who has expressed his opposition to capital punishment. The Trump administration carried out 13 federal executions in its final six months in office, including three in the last week of the former president’s term.
A federal jury found Tsarnaev guilty of all 30 counts he faced and sentenced him to death in just over two years after the attack at the finish line of the marathon.
Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in a gunbattle with police a few days after the bombings.
The defense acknowledged that the brothers carried out the attack but sought to portray Tamerlan as the radicalized mastermind and Dzhokhar as the impressionable younger brother.
Prosecutors said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was just as culpable in the attack, which the perpetrators said was meant to punish the United States for its wars in Muslim countries.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev came to the United States in April 2002 on a tourist visa but never left the country. He and his parents were subsequently granted political asylum.
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