An American court on Friday reversed the death penalty on Dzjochar Tsarnajev, the 27-year-old co-perpetrator of the 2013 Boston marathon attack, according to AP news agency.
According to the judge, the jury members who sentenced Tsarnajev to execution in 2015 were not properly screened for bias in advance. For example, in the aftermath of the attack, one of the jurors is said to have called the offender on social media a ‘piece of dirt’. A good jury assessment was especially important in this case because of the high media coverage in Boston for the attack and the “chilling” images that circulated, the judge said.
A new trial must now determine what the punishment will be for the perpetrator: life sentence or the death penalty. It is not disputed that Tsarnaev is guilty. He has confessed to and been found guilty of all 30 charges against him, including use of weapons, conspiracy and use of an explosive device.
Dzjochar Tsarnajev and his older brother Tamerlan dropped two homemade bombs – made of pressure cookers – near the finish line of the famous annual Boston marathon in April 2013. Three spectators died, including an eight-year-old boy. More than 260 others were injured. Police killed Tamerlan a few days later in a shootout that also killed an officer.
The brothers are Kyrgyz of Chechen descent. They were granted asylum as a child in the United States with their families and Dzjochar Tsarnajev became naturalized in 2012. In the boat where Dzjochar hid after the attack, he scribbled a confession about the attack. In this he referred to the wars the US is waging in Islamic countries. “Stop killing our innocent people,” he wrote. “And then we will stop.”