Attorney General William Barr has issued a statement that the Justice Department will seek to reinstate the death penalty sentence for the Boston Marathon Bomber.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence was recently overturned by a panel of three federal judges. The panel unanimously concluded that Tsarnaev did not receive a fair trial. A new trial was ordered.
In discussing the decision, Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson stated: “For even the most heinous of offenses, our system of justice demands vigorous protection—both in appearance and fact—of a defendant’s right to a fair trial and sentencing.”
The 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing
In his original trial, Tsarnaev was convicted of all 30 charges, including use of a weapon of mass destruction, and the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier during the brothers’ getaway attempt.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar’s brother and partner in the attack, died after a gunfight with the police and being run over by his brother as he fled. The defense in the original trial attempted to frame the brother as the radicalized mastermind of the attack, and Dzhokhar as a brainwashed younger brother just following orders.
The Boston Marathon Bombing killed 3 people, and wounded more than 260. The three people killed were Krystle Campbell, a 29 year old restaurant manager from Medford; Lingzi Lu, a 23 year old Boston University student from China; and Martin Richard, an 8 year old child who attended the marathon to watch with his family.
Adrianne Haslet, a victim of the bombing who lost her leg in the blast, made a statement about the court’s decision: “I’m so livid at today’s ruling by the federal court…
The death penalty should be used in this particular case. This terrorist admitted in court he was guilty of crimes committed against our country… He is a threat to all of us and he needs to die. I’m not a woman with a grudge, I’m a human with a brain.”
Attorney General Barr’s Reaction
“We will do whatever’s necessary,” Barr said. “We will take it up to the Supreme Court and we will continue to pursue the death penalty.”
Attorney General Barr has instructed the Justice Department to look into the issue, and has publicly stated that his goal is to reinstate the death sentence imposed on Tsarnaev.
President Trump also weighed in on the issue on Twitter:
Rarely has anybody deserved the death penalty more than the Boston Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The court agreed that this “was one of the worst domestic terrorist attacks since the 9/11 atrocities”. Yet the appellate court tossed out the death sentence. So many lives lost….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2020