US court overturns Boston Marathon bomber’s death sentence

A federal appeals court overturned the death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a man convicted in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

A three-judge panel of the 1 US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled more than six months after hearing arguments in the case.

The attack on 15 April 2013 killed three people and injured more than 260.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers had argued that intense media coverage made it impossible to conduct a fair trial in Boston. He pointed to social media posts from two gamblers even before the 2015 trial began, saying he had given strong opinions.

The appellants devoted significant questions to the judicial prejudice argument at the hearing of the case in early December.

He asked why the two gamblers had not been dismissed, or at least why the trial judge had not asked them follow-up questions after the post surfaced on the eve of the trial.

The judges said there is a lengthy rule for such inquiries in a Boston court.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers say one of the gamblers, who would go on to become the pioneer of the jury, or the chief spokesman, published two dozen tweets in the wake of the bombings. A post after Tsarnaev’s capture called him a “piece of garbage”.

Tsarnaev was convicted on 30 charges, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction. He is serving his sentence at a high-security supermax prison in Colorado.

Her brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a gun fight with police after detonating two pressure cooker bombs near the marathon finish line.

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