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April 13, 2023
The US Supreme Court decided on Friday in a 6-3 vote to reinstate the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.
“Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed heinous crimes. The Sixth Amendment nonetheless guaranteed him a fair trial before an impartial jury. He received one,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the majority opinion.
The decision overturns one by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston in 2020, which ruled the judge in the criminal case failed to consider the impact of the influence Tsarnaev’s older brother, another suspect in the bombing, had over him.
In the dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote, “In my view, the Court of Appeals acted lawfully in holding that the District Court should have allowed Dzhokhar to introduce this evidence.” He continued, “I have written elsewhere about the problems inherent in a system that allows for the imposition of the death penalty … This case provides just one more example of some of those problems.”
The White House, which did not publicly change its position after taking over from the Trump administration, which believed Tsarnaev should get the death penalty, has said little about the decision.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday the President has been clear about “his grave concerns about capital punishment as implemented, but he respects the process and the ongoing review that is being led by the Department of Justice and the Attorney General.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: TIME.COM