The 224-page ruling ruled “a new trial, strictly limited to what punishment Johar should receive in the number of deaths.”
The decision emphasizes, “just to be crystal clear… Johar will remain imprisoned for the rest of his life, the only question being whether the government will end his life by executing him.” Tsarnaev was also sentenced to 20 life terms, the ruling said.
Patricia Campbell, whose daughter Crystal was one of three who died near the end of the Boston Marathon, was alive to learn that Tsarnaev̵
“I just don’t understand it,” she said. “It’s just awful that he’s allowed to live his life. Not fair. He did not wake up one morning and decided to do what he did. He plans it. He did a vicious, ugly thing. “
She said she was unsure if she would return to court to try to persuade another judge to reinstate the death penalty.
“I don’t even know if I’d waste my time going,” Campbell said. “The government is just losing money. By now, he must be dead for what he did.
Bill Richard, whose 8-year-old son Martin died a block away, declined to comment.
He said the Globe should cite an essay he and his wife, Denise, wrote in 2015, calling for Tsarnaev’s life to be spared shortly before he was sentenced to death.
“We are for and will support the Ministry of Justice to remove the death penalty from the masses in exchange for the fact that the defendant has spent the rest of his life in prison, without the possibility of release and waiver of all his rights to appeal,” they wrote at the time.
They added: “We know that the government has its reasons for seeking the death penalty, but the continued persecution of this punishment could lead to years of appeals and prolonging the most painful day of our lives. We hope that our two remaining children should not grow up with the long-standing, painful reminder of what the defendant took from them and which years of complaints they will undoubtedly bring. “
A spokesman for US Attorney Andrew E. Leling said Friday afternoon that prosecutors were still reviewing the decision and would have more to say in the coming weeks. Two of Tsarnaev’s appeals lawyers did not immediately return an email requesting comment.
Thompson joined a panel of three judges, Judges Juan R. Toruela and William J. Kayatta Jr.
Tsarnaev, now 27, was sentenced to death in 2015 for his role in the attacks two years earlier, which killed three people and injured hundreds more. He and his older brother Tamerlane also killed an MIT officer while on the run.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a confrontation with police in Watertown days after the explosions. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev initially escaped from police, but was arrested later that day.
The decision found that lower court judge George A. O’Toole Jr. had not properly conducted the voting process when jurors were asked questions to determine if they were suitable jurors.
Thompson writes that the judgments long in our books say that a judge hearing a case involving prejudiced publicity must cause “the type and extent” of “the exposure of any future juror in the case or to the parties.” if requested by a lawyer – only then can the judge reliably assess whether the potential court hearing can ignore this publicity, as required by law). But despite diligent efforts, the judge here does not meet the standard set in these previous decisions.
The defense argues in the trial that Johar was led into the marathon plot by his dominant, violent older brother; prosecutors say Johar is a willing participant who radicalizes himself.
Authorities have suggested that jurors should be told of the older brother’s alleged involvement in a previous triple murder in Waltham.
“If the judge had admitted this evidence, jurors would have learned that Johar knew by the fall of 2012 that Tamerlane had killed drug dealers in the name of jihad,” Thompson wrote. “They would also know that it was only after these killings that Johar also became radicalized: The evidence actually admitted that Johar was the first to show signs of radicalization – as evidenced by his jihadist texts – after spending a holiday break with Tamerlane for a few weeks or so. as you learned of Waltham’s murders. “
Thompson acknowledged that “a court hearing armed with the missing evidence could still recommend death. But the missing evidence may have diverted at least one scale of jurors from death. “
This is groundbreaking news that will be updated.
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