SCOTUS may execute Boston Bomber, but questions Biden ‘endgame’ on death penalty

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The Supreme Court supported upholding the death penalty against one of the perpetrators of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers during an oral debate on Wednesday.

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However, he questioned how the president could oppose the death penalty as a whole, and the Justice Department argued for its use in this case against Zhokhar Tsarnaev, who along with his now-deceased brother, Tamerlan, carried out the bombings. in which three people were killed and hundreds were injured.

“I’m wondering what the end of government is,” Justice Amy Connie Barrett told federal government attorneys. “If you possibly win it means that [Tsarnaev] Accused to live under the threat of the death penalty that the government does not plan, so I am having trouble following the point. “


Granthshala The Justice Department and the White House have been reached for comment.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted in 2015 in all 30 cases against him, which the authorities called “One of the most important terrorism cases in the history of our country,” and his lawyers do not deny his role in the terrorist attack. (His older brother, Tamerlan, was killed in a shootout with police).

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Instead, they are challenging his death sentence, which they argue should not stand because the jury was not adequately examined for bias or Tamerlan’s alleged violent criminal past. Not given enough information, both could have changed the final sentence.

In 2020, a federal appeals court Tsarnaev’s death sentence dismissed, a decision that the Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court. The effort has since continued under the Biden administration, while the president’s opposition to the death penalty was called for. The conservative-leaning Supreme Court appeared largely unaffected by Tsarnaev’s arguments during the oral arguments.

They questioned whether further evidence is accepted Tamerlan’s alleged criminal past, which includes a key role in a triple murder, may have changed the inherent objectivity of his brother’s final terrorism trial. The triple-murder charge was, he suggested, now a dead end, based on the statement of a man named Ibragim Todashev, who was later killed after attacking an FBI agent during an interview.

Justice Samuel Alito said, “You will have another trial within trial about what happened.”

Chief Justice John Roberts said, “It will focus the jury on what the judge has concluded that cannot be resolved.”

The more liberal Justice Elena Kagan, appointed during the Obama administration, pushed back, however, noting that considering other events in Tamerlan’s past, the murder case could have further exposed his alleged violent influence on his brother. .

“It is different that Tamerlan shouted at a mosque, and it is different that Tamerlan attacked a fellow student, and it is different that Tamerlan shouted at people, but all this was accepted to show how Tamerlan person and what kind of influence did he have on his brother,” Justice Kagan said, referring to other evidence that came to light at trial. “And yet, the court, again, you know, refuses to accept evidence of a grisly murderous crime, which, according to the evidence, was excluded, on an accomplice of Tamerlan for murdering three men. had an extraordinary effect.”

There was little discussion about the jury selection process, although public prosecutors argued that potential jurors received a lengthy screening process, including questions about what media they consumed before trial.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers have argued that pre-trial media coverage could have biased the jury.

The ongoing death penalty case has divided the families affected by the bombing. Bill and Denise Richard, Parents of eight-year-old MartinThe youngest of those killed in the attack has argued against the death penalty for his son’s killer, as a lengthy capital affair could add to their suffering.

“We know that the government has its reasons for seeking the death penalty, but the continued pursuit of that sentence could bring years of appeal and relive the most painful day of our lives,” he wrote. in opinion piece Boston Globe. “We hope that our two remaining children will not grow up with dull, painful reminders of what the defendant took from them, which the appeals years will undoubtedly bring.” Others, such as Elizabeth Norden, whose sons JP and Paul lost a leg in the bombing, are welcome to see Tsarnaev receive the death penalty.

He said Granthshala That a death sentence won’t stop him—it’s unlikely for him after such a tragedy—but he hopes it will have a deterrent effect on future crimes. (The evidence does not show that the death penalty certainly reduces violent crime.) “I am not eye for eye. I am not that kind of person. I struggle, how do you want to take someone’s life?” he said. “But there is no shadow of reasonable doubt as to what he and his brother did.”

Ms Norden now runs a charity called A Leg Forever, which helps people pay for prostheses, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and need to be replaced every few years. She said that whether Tsarnaev gets the death penalty or a life sentence, she will always be in great pain from what happened.

“Will this change my life? Will it ever stop, not at all,” she said. “For me, as a mother, I have endured the deepest grief for my sons… how do you really know something like this? give? Whether he comes in the news every day or not, I see my sons standing on their feet.”

Stay tuned for more breaking news.


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