The 224-page sentence ordered a “new trial strictly limited to what punishment Dzhokhar should suffer for counts eligible for death.”
The sentence stressed that “just be clear … Dzhokhar will remain confined in prison for the rest of his life, leaving the only question of whether the government will end his life by executing him.” Tsarnaev was also sentenced to twenty-five life terms, the sentence noted.
Patricia Campbell, whose daughter Krystle was one of three who died near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, felt victimized to learn that Tsarnaev̵7;s sentence had been vacated.
“I just don’t get it,” he said. “It’s terrible that it allowed him to live life. It’s unfair. He didn’t wake up one morning and decided to do what he did. He planned it. He did something vicious and ugly.”
She said she was unsure whether she would return to court to try to persuade another judge to reinstate the death penalty.
“I don’t even know if I would waste my time,” Campbell said. “The government is only wasting money. He should be dead now because he did. ”
Bill Richard, whose 8-year-old son Martin died on a far street, declined to comment.
He said the Globe should refer to an essay he and his wife, Denise, wrote in 2015, in which they called for Tsarnaev’s life to be saved shortly before he was sentenced to death.
“We are in favor and will support the Justice Department in removing the death penalty from the table in exchange for the accused spending the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of releasing and relinquishing all his rights to appeal, “he wrote at the time.
And they added: “We know the government has its reasons for asking for the death penalty, but continued persecution of this punishment could lead to years of calling and prolonging the life of the most painful day of our lives. We hope our two remaining children do not have to grow up with the persistent and painful reminder of what the defendant drew, which would no doubt bring years of appeal. “
A U.S. administration spokesman, Andrew E. Lelling, said Friday afternoon that prosecutors were still reviewing the sentence and should say more in the coming weeks. Two of Tsarnaev’s appealed lawyers did not immediately return any emails to comment.
Thompson joined the three-judge jury by Judges Juan R. Torruella and William J. Kayatta Jr.
Tsarnaev, now 27, was sentenced to death in 2015 for his role in the bombings two years before they killed three people and injured hundreds more. He and his older brother, Tamerlan, also killed an MIT police officer while they were on the trail.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a clash with police in Watertown days after the blasts. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev initially evaded the police, but was captured later that day.
The judgment finds that the lower court judge, George A. O’Toole Jr., had not properly handled the voir dire process, when questions are asked to jurors to determine whether they are suitable jurors.
Thompson wrote that “long decisions about our books say that a judge dealing with a case involving harmful pretentious publicity must originate” the type and degree “of each potential jury’s exposure to the case or the parties.” , if requested by the lawyer, only then can the judge reliably assess whether a potential jury can ignore such publicity, as required by law). But, in spite of a diligent effort, the judge here did not comply with the “rule” established in the previous decisions.
The defense had argued in court that Dzhokhar was directed at the marathon plot by his violent and dominant big brother; Prosecutors claimed Dzhokhar was a volunteer participant who radicalized on his own.
The verdict suggested that jurors should have been informed of the older brother’s alleged involvement in a triple murder prior to Waltham.
“If the judge had admitted that evidence, the jurors would have known that Dzhokhar knew in the fall of 2012 that Tamerlan had killed drug traffickers in the name of jihad,” Thompson wrote. “They would also have known that it was only after these assassinations that Dzhokhar was radicalized: the evidence they admitted actually showed that Dzhokhar first flashed signs of radicalization, as is evident in his texts on jihad, after passing some holidays with Tamerlan for several weeks. more or less after learning of the murders in Waltham. “
Thompson acknowledged that “a jury armed with omitted evidence could still have recommended death. But omitted evidence could include at least a decisive jury scale far from death. “
This is background news that will be updated.
Travis Andersen can be accessed at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. David Abel can be accessed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davabel. You can reach Tonya Alanez at email@example.com or 617-929-1579. Follow her on Twitter @talanez.