The 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has overturned the death sentence handed down to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in 2015 for his part in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Tsarnaev’s conviction for helping to carry out the bombing that left three people dead and over 260 injured is being upheld, but a new trial will take place to determine a different sentence.

His attorney argued in December 2019 to the Appeals Court that his 26-year-old client’s death sentence was the product of an unfair trial, one which took place in Boston, despite objections. Attorney Daniel Habib claimed the city’s anger over the attack “filtered” through the jury and the massive media coverage of the event meant no juror could be impartial.

Tsarnaev carried out the bombing with his brother, Tamerlan, who was killed by police in the days after the April 15 attack.

First Circuit affirms life sentences for Boston Marathon Bomber BUT reverses death sentences, citing jury/pretrial publicity issue.Court remands case for new trial on death-eligible counts, noting he’s locked up for life either way.

A massive manhunt led by the FBI was launched in the wake of the bombing. Boston residents were told to stay indoors and most businesses shut down to allow police to search for the then-suspects. 

A 26-year-old MIT patrol officer was killed by the brothers when they got into a struggle over his gun. The Tsarnaevs later held a shootout with police in Watertown, where two officers were injured in the firefight. Tamerlan was wounded and run over by a car his brother was driving as Dzhokhar fled the scene. The manhunt for Dzhokhar continued in the Watertown area until a resident found him hiding in a boat on his property on April 19. 

Dzhokhar later admitted to police that the bombing at the Boston Marathon was supposed to be the first of multiple attacks. The next planned bombing was to be in Times Square in New York City.

The surviving brother was found guilty in 2015 on multiple charges, including use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, and aiding and abetting. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was 22 when he was sentenced to death.

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