top of page

Supreme Court reimposes death penalty for Boston bomber

The US Supreme Court has re-imposed the death sentence for convicted Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, reversing an earlier appeals court ruling to void it.

Justices voted 6-3 to reject defence claims Tsarnaev's 2015 trial was conducted improperly.

Three people died and 260 others were wounded in the 2013 bombing, which Tsarnaev carried out with his older brother Tamerlan.

Tamerlan was shot dead by police.

In July 2020, a federal appeals court 'vacated' (removed) Tsarnaev's death sentence, arguing the judge in his original trial had failed to question potential jurors about how much they'd been following the case in the news.

Additionally, the appeals court said the judge should have allowed the defence team to bring up a 2011 triple murder in a Boston suburb.

Tsarnaev's lawyers had hoped to use the crime as evidence that he had been manipulated by his brother who had been a suspect in the case, and who they characterised as the mastermind of the bombing.

While the court upheld his conviction, his death sentence was overturned. The Supreme Court's decision on Friday reverses that decision.

"Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed heinous crimes," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote. "The sixth amendment nonetheless guaranteed him a fair trial before an impartial jury. He received one."


bottom of page