Appeals Court Tosses Out Death Sentence Of Boston Marathon Bomber


A federal appeals court threw out the death sentence of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the trial judge who oversaw his case did "fell short" when screening the jury for potential biases. They ordered a new penalty-phase trial to determine if Tsarnaev should be executed.

The panel wrote that the judge should have moved the trial out of Boston and disregarded social media posts made by two jurors before the trial began. One of those jurors, who ended up being the foreman on the jury, posted dozens of tweets about the bombing, including one in which he called Tsarnaev a piece of garbage. 

The panel upheld the rest of his conviction for his role in the attack, which killed three people and injured hundreds more. Tsarnaev's brother died in a shootout with police in the massive manhunt following the bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Tsarnaev was found guilty of 30 counts and sentenced to death in 2015. The judges said that he will spend the rest of his life in prison, and could still be executed pending the outcome of the new trial.

Photo: Getty Images

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