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Supreme Court reinstates death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Suspect 2 in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation. (FBI/Released)
March 04, 2022

The United States Supreme Court has reinstated the death penalty for the Boston Marathon bomber, whose attack in 2013 left three dead and hundreds of other injured.  

Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the court’s opinion on Friday.

“On April 15, 2013, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev planted and detonated two homemade pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The blasts hurled nails and metal debris into the assembled crowd, killing three while maiming and wounding hundreds,” the court stated. “Three days later, the brothers murdered a campus police officer, carjacked a graduate student, and fired on police who had located them in the stolen vehicle. Dzhokhar attempted to flee in the vehicle but inadvertently killed Tamerlan by running him over.”

“Dzhokhar was soon arrested and indicted. A jury found Dzhokhar guilty of 30 federal crimes and recommended the death penalty for 6 of them. The District Court accordingly sentenced Dzhokhar to death. The Court of Appeals vacated the death sentence. We now reverse,” it continued.

The Department of Justice previously asked the Supreme Court to reinstate the death penalty, arguing that the bomber not only killed multiple innocent people, but consigned “several others to a ‘lifetime of unimaginable suffering.’”

“The jury carefully considered each of the respondent’s crime and determined that capital punishment was warranted for the horrors that he personally inflicted — setting down a shrapnel bomb in a crowd and detonating it, killing a child and a promising young student, and consigning several others to a ‘lifetime of unimaginable suffering,’” Justice Department attorneys wrote, according to The New York Post.

Former Attorney General William Barr vowed in late 2020 to “do whatever it takes” to see Tsarnaev subjected to the death penalty.

“We will do whatever’s necessary,” Barr said at the time. “We will take it up to the Supreme Court and we will continue to pursue the death penalty.”

Despite being convicted for the Boston Bombing, Tsarnaev received a $1,400 COVID relief payment on June 22, 2021.

Tsarnaev was ordered to pay $3,000 as a special assessment and $101,126,627 in criminal restitution, court documents showed. Since it was first ordered in 2015, Tsarnaev has paid just $2,202.03.

“Since his arrest, various individuals have provided funds to the Defendant,” court documents revealed. “As of December 22, 2021, the Defendant has approximately $3,885.06 in his inmate trust account.”

“The Defendant, although not making payments to his victims, has made payments to other third-parties. The largest payment the Defendant made from his account was paid to his siblings for items such as ‘gifts,’ ‘support,’ and ‘books,’” the documents continued. “These payments totaled $2,000.”