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US Supreme Court weighs in on Boston Marathon bomber


ছবি Photo from Reuters file: A storm rolls over the US Supreme Court in Washington, September 1, 2021. Reuters / Tom Brenner

By Lawrence Hurley and Knut Raymond

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear the death sentence of U.S. Boston Marathon bomber Jokhar Jarnev on Wednesday, after three people were killed and more than 200 injured in the 201st attack.

Despite President Joe Biden’s stated goal of abolishing the death penalty at the federal level, his administration has decided to make an appeal – initially initiated by the judiciary under his predecessor Donald Trump – the lower court’s verdict overturned Jarniev’s death sentence.

No federal prisoner has been sentenced to death for 17 years before Trump supervised 13 executions in the last six months of his term.

One of the issues facing the nine judges was whether the bombing could affect the jury’s global media attention – a question that the lower court found that U.S. District Judge George O’Toole, who presided over the trial, had not resolved long enough. Jury selection process.

Judges will also consider whether O’Toole erroneously removed evidence related to a triple murder involving Tsarnaev’s older brother in 2011. Zarnev’s lawyer, who is now 28 and 19 at the time of the attack, argued that he played a second role in the bombing to his brother Tamarlan, whom they described as an authority figure in the “violent Islamic extremist faith”. “

Victims of the bombing are divided over whether Jarniev should be executed.

The government is challenging the lower court’s 2020 decision to order a new trial to convict Jarniev of crimes he deserves for the crimes he was convicted of. By the end of June, the Supreme Court has ruled that Jarniev will be in prison for at least a lifetime. He is a prisoner in the “Supermax” federal prison in Florence, Colorado.

The Tsarnaev brothers detonated two homemade pressure-cooker bombs on the finish line of the marathon on April 15, 2013, and killed a police officer a few days later. Tamarlan Zarnayev was killed in a gunfight with police.

The jurors convicted Jozkhar Zarnaev of 30 counts and sentenced him to death for the bombing that killed 8-year-old Martin Richard and 23-year-old Chinese exchange student Lingzi Luke.

Rejecting Jarnive’s death sentence but not convicting him, the Boston-based 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that O’Toole “fell short” in screening judges for possible bias after extensive news coverage of the bombing.

The Justice Department argued that the 1st Circuit failed to delay O’Toole’s broad authority as a judge to conduct jury elections as per the court’s precedent. The department further argued that the results would not be affected if Tamarlan Zarnayev acknowledged evidence of possible involvement in the previous three murders.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers say O’Toole’s decisions deprive him of his constitutional right to a fair trial and also violate the Federal Death Penalty Act, which outlines the procedure for executions under federal law.

This year’s Boston Marathon was held on Monday.

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