The court will reconsider the death sentence of the marathon bomber | lifestyle

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyer urged a federal appeals court Tuesday to overturn the 29-year-old’s death sentence over allegations of juror misconduct just months after it was reinstated by the nation’s highest court.

Tsarnaev is again seeking to avoid execution after the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty imposed on him last year for his role in a 2013 bombing that killed three people and injured hundreds near the finish line of a marathon.

His lawyers are now challenging issues the Supreme Court did not consider, including whether the trial judge improperly rejected his challenge of two jurors who defense attorneys say lied during jury selection hearings.

One female juror said she had not commented online about the case, but retweeted a post calling Tsarnaev a “piece of trash.” Another female juror said none of his Facebook friends had commented on the trial, although one urged him to ” played a role. ” so he could get on the jury and send Tsarnaev to “the prison where he will be taken,” defense attorneys say.

“This case was tried in Boston on the promise … that despite the extraordinary impact of the Marathon bombing on this community,” the ongoing questioning of potential jurors would remove any disqualifiers, Tsarnaev’s attorney, Daniel Habib, told the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. judges. “This promise was not kept.

The Justice Department continued efforts to preserve Tsarnaev’s sentence even after Attorney General Merrick Garland imposed a moratorium on federal executions last year while the department conducts a review of its policies and procedures. The department did not say how long it might maintain the detention, which comes after former President Donald Trump’s administration killed 13 inmates in the past six months.

President Joe Biden has said he opposes the death penalty and will work to end its use, but has taken no steps to do so during his time in office. And the moratorium does not prevent federal prosecutors from seeking the death penalty, as is the case for a man currently on trial for killing eight people on a New York City bike path in 2017.

William Glaser, a lawyer for the Justice Department, told the appeals court that the trial judge did nothing wrong in dealing with the jurors. Glaser acknowledged that the jurors made inaccurate statements, but said that other disclosures by those jurors to the court indicated that they simply did not remember everything perfectly.

“There is no indication on this record that these inaccuracies were the kind of willful dishonesty that would result in disqualification,” Glaser said.

But Judge William Kayatta Jr. he asked how the judge could have known this without looking further into Tsarnaev’s claims. And Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson told a Justice Department lawyer that she found it difficult to see how Tsarnaev could not at least credibly claim that a juror who was told to “play a role” was knowingly lying.

“For example, if a Facebook friend said ‘get on the jury and make sure the death penalty is not imposed,’ I find it hard to believe that you wouldn’t be here arguing the opposite of what you are. argue now,” she told Glaser.

Some of the bombing survivors who attended the hearing met Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins shortly afterward outside the courtroom. Marc Fucarile, who lost a leg and suffered other serious injuries in the blast, said he came to the arguments to let the judges know that the survivors “are still paying attention to what they’re doing.”

“At some point we have to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. There’s no question what he did,” Fucarile told the Associated Press.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers acknowledged early in his trial that he and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, set off the two bombs that killed Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student from China; Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager from Medford, Massachusetts; and 8-year-old Martin Richard of Boston.

However, they argued that he should not have been executed, claiming that his brother had radicalized him and masterminded the attack.

Tsarnaev was convicted in 2015 of all 30 charges against him, including conspiracy and the use of a weapon of mass destruction and the killing of MIT police officer Sean Collier during the Tsarnaev brothers’ escape attempt. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a shootout with police days after the April 15, 2013 bombing.

In 2020, the 1st Circuit overturned Tsarnaev’s death sentence and ordered a new penalty-phase trial to decide whether he should be executed, finding that the judge did not sufficiently question jurors about their exposure to extensive coverage of the bombing. However, the Supreme Court justices agreed with the Biden administration by a 6-3 vote that the 1st Circuit’s decision was wrong.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

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