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Federal appeals court accuses Tsarnaev of death, orders new criminal proceedings



Although he and his brother caused a “battlefield-like slaughter” in the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence must be set aside until a new criminal trial, a federal appeals court said on Friday.

The verdict came from the United States Court of Appeals for the first circuit.

“A key promise of our criminal justice system is that even the worst of us deserves to be brought to justice and punished fairly,”

; judge O. Rogeriee Thompson wrote in court. The ruling found that the presiding judge in Tsarnaev’s 2015 trial “did not meet the standard” of fairness.

The 224-page verdict ordered a “new trial that is strictly limited to what punishment Dzhokhar should receive in relation to the death penalty”.

A spokeswoman for US attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office said Friday afternoon that prosecutors are still reviewing the verdict and have more to say in the coming weeks. Two of Tsarnaev’s appeal lawyers did not immediately return an email asking for a comment.

The judges said in the decision, “Just to be very clear … Dzhokhar will remain in prison for the rest of his life. The only question is whether the government will end his life by execution.”

Thompson was included on the three-member jury by judges Juan R. Torruella and William J. Kayatta Jr.

This is a current message that is being updated.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.




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