Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Boston Marathon Bomber’s Death Sentence Vacated on Appeal

July 31, 2020, 7:56 PM

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who along with his brother Tamerlan killed four people and injured hundreds more in the bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon and their attempt to flee, had his death sentence vacated on appeal.

Despite “a diligent effort,” the trial judge failed to properly assess whether the jurors in Tsarnaev’s trail were biased by pretrial publicity surrounding the high-profile case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit said in a lengthy opinion. The court also reversed three of Tsarnaev’s convictions for carrying a firearm during crimes of violence.

The district court must empanel a new jury and preside over a new proceeding “strictly limited to what penalty Dzhokhar should get on the death-eligible counts.”

“But make no mistake: Dzhokhar will spend his remaining days locked up in prison, with the only matter remaining being whether he will die by execution,” Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson said.

Judges Juan R. Torruella and William J. Kayatta Jr. also served on the panel.

The case is United States v. Tsarnaev, 1st Cir., No. 16-06001, 7/31/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Flood in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at; Nicholas Datlowe at