High court sets Oct. 13 as date for arguments on death penalty for Tsarnaev

The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether to reinstate the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Oct. 13.

A federal appeals court threw out Tsarnaev’s death sentence last year, saying the trial judge did not do enough to ensure jurors were not biased against him. Earlier this year, the Biden administration had asked the high court to take up the case.

The hearing will re-examine two things: Whether the court of appeals made a mistake when it vacated Tsarnaev’s sentence because the district court didn’t ask each prospective juror what they knew about the case prior to the trial; and whether the district court was wrong to exclude evidence that Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was allegedly involved in different crimes two years before they were convicted of the bombing of the Boston Marathon.

Tsarnaev was convicted of 30 charges in 2015, and then handed six death sentences. He and Tamerlan Tsarnaev placed bombs along the Boston Marathon route in 2013, killing three people — Dorchester’s Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lingzi Lu — and injuring more than 260 people near the finish line.

The brothers murdered MIT police officer Sean Collier days later, before engaging in a wild police shootout in Watertown which left Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead.

WBUR 90.9FM published this story on July 13. The Reporter and WBUR share content through a media partnership.

3 2.png