A federal appeals court in the United States has decided to toss the death penalty handed down to Boston Marathon bomber; Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and ordered a new penalty phase trial.
“Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s convictions on Counts 13, 15, and 18 are reversed, and the district court is directed to enter a judgment of acquittal on those counts,” said an entry submitted in the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. “Dzhohkar Tsarnaev’s death sentences on Counts 4, 5, 9, 10, and 14 are vacated, and the matter is remanded to the district court with directions to hold a new penalty-phase trial.”
“But make no mistake: Dzhokhar will spend his remaining days locked up in prison, with the only matter remaining being whether he will die by execution,” the court wrote.
Authorities say Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan set off the bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, killing three people and injuring more than 200 more. Tamerlan was later killed in a gun battle with police days after the two brothers detonated the bomb.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is to face the death penalty, after being found guilty of 30 counts connected to the April 2013 fatal bombing. He was convicted on 30 charges, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction. He’s been serving his sentence in a high-security supermax prison in Colorado.
Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in 2015 for the murders of Kyrstell Campbell, Martin Richard, and Lingzi Liu in the Marathon Bombings and for the murder of MIT Police officer Sean Collier four days after the bombing. Following the attacks, the city of Boston went into complete lockdown and a manhunt was on for Tsarnaev. Eventually, he was found hiding inside a boat in Watertown.
For the time being, Tsarnaev will remain locked up at the supermax prison pending a new sentencing phase of the trial which will determine if he will return to death row or be sentenced to serve a life sentence.