Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber had his death sentence overturned by a federal appeals court today.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan detonated two homemade pressure cooker bombs at the marathon’s finish line on April 15, 2013.  The attack killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

The federal appeals court threw out Dzhokhar’s death sentence in the 2013 bombing, saying the judge who oversaw the case did not adequately screen jurors for potential biases.  A jury in 2015 had found Tsarnaev guilty of all 20 counts he faced and later determined he deserved execution for the killing of three people in the attack.

His defense attorney David Patton has argued that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan was the mastermind of the bombing and was killed in a gunfight with police three days after the bombing. 

Dzhokhar fled and the police locked down Boston and most surrounding communities for almost 24 hours, while heavily armed officers conducted house to house searches in the suburb of Watertown, where he was found hiding in a dry-docked boat in a backyard.

Patton also said, “prosecutors must now decide whether to put the victims and Boston through a second trial, or to allow closure to this terrible tragedy by permitting a sentence of life without possibility of release.”
Tsarnaev is being held at the United States’ “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado, a site so remote and well secured that it is nicknamed the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.”

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