Federal appeals court vacates Boston Marathon bomber’s death sentence

A federal appeals court tossed the death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, survivor of two brothers who planted pressure cooker bombs that killed 3 and injured 264 others at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, on grounds of juror bias.

The court found at least two jurors had posted strong opinions on social media before the trial, and criticized the trial judge for not vetting them well enough. One of these was the jury foreperson.

That was enough to overturn the sentence, and the appeals court also overturned Tsarnaev’s convictions on 3 weapons charges, but affirmed his convictions on numerous other counts, and said he will spend “the rest of his life” in prison. He’s currently being held in Florence ADX, the federal ultra-max prison in Colorado where bombers and terrorists are typically incarcerated.

The court also left the door open for prosecutors to seek the death penalty with a new jury, and they likely will try to do so.

Read story here and here.

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