Boston Marathon bomber's death sentence overturned by appeals court

Court overturns Boston Marathon bomber's death sentence

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston upheld much of the conviction but ordered a retrial for the sentencing portion of his death-penalty eligible crimes.

Tsarnaev's lawyers say one of the jurors, who would go one to become the jury's foreperson, or chief spokesperson, published two dozen tweets in the wake of the bombings.

"A core promise of our criminal-justice system is that even the very worst among us deserves to be fairly tried and lawfully punished", wrote Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson in the 224-page opinion, noting the district court judge had failed to adequately vet the trial's jurors for bias.

Kim Donohue shared a photo on Twitter, showing her husband meeting with two other survivors of the bombing: Jeff Bauman, who lost two limbs in the attack, and Carlos Arredondo, a marathon spectator who was credited with helping to save lives after the bombings.

His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a gun battle with police days after the two brothers detonated two pressure cooker bombs near the marathon finish line.

Numerous charges Tsarnaev was convicted on were upheld by the appeals court, but on those death-eligible counts, the court ordered a new penalty-phase trial.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a gunbattle with police a few days after the April 15, 2013, bombing.

Tsarnaev, who is now 27, is being held at the high-security supermax federal prison near Florence, Colo.

Following the attack, Dzhokar was convicted on 30 charges, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction.

"If this case did not present a sufficient basis for a change of venue, there are no set of circumstances that will meet this standard, at least not in the First Circuit", he wrote.

"I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering that I have caused you, for the damage I have done, irreparable damage", Tsarnaev told the courtroom on the day he was sentenced, adding "in case there is any doubt, I am guilty of this attack, along with my brother".

A panel of three judges ruled on Friday that the jury that convicted him was tainted by the intense news coverage in the aftermath of the bombing and ensuing manhunt.

She said the trial judge allowed his jury to include jurors who had "already formed an opinion that Dzhokhar was guilty - and he did so in large part because they answered "yes" to the question whether they could decide this high-profile case based on the evidence".

Speaking at an event with law enforcement in Tampa, Florida, President Donald Trump referred to Tsarnaev as an "animal".

"They just sent this conviction for the death penalty back to the lower courts so they'll argue about that for a long time", Trump said.

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