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October 12, 2021

SCOTUS to hear argument over First Circuit's reversal of death sentence of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Yesterday, the 2021 version of the Boston Marathon took place.  Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in US v. Tsanaev to consider whether the First Circuit erred when reversing the death sentence given to the bomber who killed  three and injured hundreds during the 2013 version of the Boston Marathon.  (I have done dozens of posts on crimes and punishments of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and below are a few of the most recent ones.)

There is a lot of media coverage of the case as it gets to the Justices for oral argument, and here is a sampling:

From the AP, "Marathon bomber faces revived death sentence in high court"

From Courthouse News Service, "Fate of Boston Marathon bomber faces Supreme Court reckoning"

From Reuters, "Boston Marathon bombing victims split on death penalty in Supreme Court case"

From SCOTUSblog, "Justices to consider government’s appeal to reinstate death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber"

From Time, "Boston Marathon Bomber Supreme Court Case Exposes Split Between Biden and Justice Department on Death Penalty"

From WGBH, "Will The Supreme Court Reinstate A Death Sentence For Boston Marathon Bomber?"

A few many prior recent related posts:

October 12, 2021 at 11:07 PM | Permalink


Why didn’t the district judge grant a change of venue? The risk of an inadequate voir dire left open the possibility that the victims’ families and people in Boston may have to suffer through additional legal proceedings that bring back very painful feelings and memories.

Posted by: Elaine Mittleman | Oct 13, 2021 12:37:00 AM

I am not sure that granting a change of venue would have solved the issue. I see the publicity in this case as somewhat analogous to the Enron cases (which went to trial in Houston and were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court). While there were some potential venirepersons who were personally impacted, the case got large scale national publicity. In any place where the case was tried, pre-trial publicity would have been a topic for voir dire. So you would have the same issue regardless of venue on appeal, whether the voir dire on publicity was adequate.

Posted by: tmm | Oct 13, 2021 10:49:52 AM

If this was virtually any other crime, I seriously doubt it is cert. worthy. Ironically, I think it is the (warranted) national attention the case got that led the Court to grant review.

Posted by: John | Oct 13, 2021 3:26:28 PM

The Supremes should reverse the entire case and send it back for re-trail or acquittal. It's plain the guy was guilty of nothing. He had no representation (a Federal Defender who insisted on a guilty plea with no input from her client).

It's a bad conviction that should never be allowed to stand.

Posted by: restless94110 | Oct 15, 2021 8:26:01 PM

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