Death Sentence Resinstated for Boston Bomber 


Misha Ankudovych, Editor-In-Chief

On March 4th 2022 the United States Supreme Court overturned a previous decision by the U.S court of Appeals first circuit to remove the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The decision passed 6 to 3. All 6 judges nominated by a conservative president (Roberts, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Barret, Alito, and Thomas) agreed with the decision, and the 3 nominated by a liberal president ( Kagen, Breyer, Sotomayor) did not. 

The use of the death penalty was not overturned on a qustion of guilt, as the court upheld his convinction, however, the court stated that the court that initially convicted Tsarnaez mishandled the trial. The lawyers assert that the jurors were not poorly briefed and questioned, meaning that there was still a possibility for bias in the jurors. They also accused that there was improperly withheld evidence that suggested Tsarnaez’s brother held a larger role in the bombing.

Justice Thomas wrote in his decision representing the conservative judges, that they decided to reinstate the death penalty as in their eyes, heinous crimes were committed, and Tsarnev’s sixth amendment right to a fair trial was upheld. The counter by liberal judges was that lawyers failed to present evidence that understated the defendant’s involvement in the bombing. 

This decision is largely symbolic, and will not have any immediate effects because President Biden has halted executions as he does not support the death penalty. However, as all decisions made by the Supreme Court directly influence the ways the laws in our country are interpreted, it is impossible to evaluate the full effect of this decision right now.