By the editorial staff
Lhe democratic government “declared a moratorium on federal executions, but you defend the death penalty” for Djokhar Tsarnaev, noted during the hearing the conservative magistrate Amy Coney Barrett. “If you win, he will be sentenced to live under the threat of a death penalty that the government does not intend to apply”, she continued to the address of the representative of the Ministry of Justice. “I find it difficult to understand the objective”.
“We ask that the reasoned decision” of the jurors who imposed the death penalty be respected because “with his brother, he killed and mutilated hundreds of innocent people,” was content to answer Eric Feigin without entering into political debate.
Recall of facts
In 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a young student of Chechen origin, planted two homemade bombs with his older brother Tamerlan near the finish line of the Boston marathon, killing three, including an eight-year-old child, and injuring 264. .
During his trial in 2015 in Boston, his lawyers claimed that the young man, 19 at the time (28 years old today), was under the influence of his self-radicalized elder. Without denying the seriousness of the facts, they had pleaded for life imprisonment. The jurors had not been convinced and had opted for the death penalty.
The death penalty had been canceled
In 2020, a federal court of appeal retained the guilty verdict but overturned the death penalty citing two irregularities. For her, in this highly publicized case, it would have been necessary to question the potential jurors on what they had read or seen at the time of the attack, in order to rule out those who have already formed their opinion. Likewise, she ruled, the court was wrong to reject a defense request which wanted to evoke a triple murder dating back to 2011, probably committed by the elder of the Tsarnaevs, as proof of his character as a leader.
Donald Trump criticized this decision
Even though this decision made it possible to keep Djokhar Tsarnaev in prison for life, it had been strongly criticized by Donald Trump, who was then president. A fervent supporter of the death penalty, he had asked his government to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Once in the White House, Joe Biden could have withdrawn this request, but he let it take its course. During his campaign, the Democrat had yet promised to work to abolish the death penalty at the federal level.
The Supreme Court must render its decision before the end of June 2022.