(New York) A federal appeals court in Boston on Friday overturned the death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, and returned the file to the competent court to decide on a new sentence.
France Media Agency
The court only quashed the part of the judgment dealing with the death penalty charges.
Even if this annulment were confirmed after re-examination, Djokhar Tsarnaev would therefore remain sentenced, at a minimum, to life imprisonment, the court of appeal warned.
“Djokhar Tsarnaev will remain in prison for the rest of his life, the only question remaining whether the government will put an end to his existence by having him executed”, wrote the three magistrates of the court of appeal in a judgment published on Friday.
In their decision, the three judges in particular accepted the defense argument that the jury selection process had been flawed.
Djokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers had shown that two of the jurors finally selected had lied while answering questions put to them before the trial.
They had concealed having had exchanges on social networks about the case.
One of them even called Tsarnaev “junk” on Twitter, according to the convict's lawyer, Daniel Habib, who criticized the then judge, George O'Toole, for not having “Investigated” before accepting them as jurors.
Student of Chechen origin, Djokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in June 2015 for having planted, with his older brother, Tamerlan, two homemade bombs near the line arrival of the Boston Marathon, killing three and 264 injured.
If Djokhar Tsarnaev admitted having participated in the bombing, the defense always affirmed that the young man, aged 17 years the time (27 today), was under the influence of his elder.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed by law enforcement three days after the attack, following a manhunt on the outskirts of Boston.
During their run, the two brothers had shot and killed a policeman.