One of the organizers of the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon was sentenced to the highest degree in 2015. In 2020, the Court of Appeal overturned this decision.

The Supreme Court hearing in the Tsarnaev case began with the speech of Eric Feigin, Deputy Secretary of Justice of the United States. This agency appealed to the Supreme Court with a request to restore the death sentence against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who, together with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, organized the explosion during the Boston Marathon in 2013.

Tamerlan’s older brother was shot during police detention, and Dzhokhar was sentenced to death in 2015.

In 2020, the Court of Appeal overturned this decision and scheduled a retrial at the sentencing stage. This decision was made in connection with two circumstances referred to by Tsarnaev’s lawyers. Firstly, his defenders claim that serious violations were committed during the selection of the jury. Many of them: allegedly were influenced by a large-scale media campaign about the Boston bombing, which could affect their objectivity. The second defense argument concerns Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s involvement in the murder of three people in 2011. The lawyers claim that the court of the first instance violated the Eighth Amendment by refusing to consider this information as part of the process.

“The District Court violated the Eighth Amendment by categorically excluding information that Tamerlan robbed and killed three people as an act of jihad,” Tsarnaev’s lawyer Ginger Anders said in court, “These testimonies were a central element in the mitigation process. The whole argument of the defense was that Dzhokhar was less responsible since it was Tamerlan who inspired him with these ideas and then organized the bombings. The commission of the murder by Tamerlan could become a key ideological moment, demonstrating to Dzhokhar that Tamerlan irrevocably devoted himself to jihad. This could have a serious impact on Dzhokhar, who was already under the influence of his brother and could feel even more pressure to follow him.”

However, the state prosecution does not agree with this argument. Moreover, Eric Feigin questioned the fact that a detailed examination of the evidence of Tamerlan’s involvement in the murder committed earlier would have led to a commutation of the sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev:

“There is no evidence that Tamerlan physically forced Dzhokhar to perform actions. He acted independently at the moment when he planted the bomb. As for the influence, as I have already said, the jury would rather consider it an aggravating rather than a mitigating circumstance,” Feigin said.

Let me remind you that since the beginning of July, according to the order of the Ministry of Justice, there is a moratorium on the execution of death sentences for crimes committed at the federal level in the United States.