This is a decision that will make noise across the Atlantic. A Boston federal appeals court on Friday overturned Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's death sentence for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and referred the case to the appropriate court to decide on a new sentence.
The court only quashed the part of the judgment dealing with the death penalty charges. Even if this cancellation were confirmed after re-examination, Djokhar Tsarnaev would therefore remain sentenced, at a minimum, to life imprisonment, warned the court of appeal. "Djokhar Tsarnaev will remain in prison for the rest of his life, the only question remaining whether the government will end his existence by having him executed", wrote the three magistrates of the court of appeal in a judgment published on Friday .
Jurors who lied
In their decision, the three judges notably accepted the defense argument that the jury selection process had been flawed. Dzhokhar 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 hidden having had exchanges on social networks about the case.
One of them even called Tsarnaev "garbage" on Twitter, according to the convict's lawyer, Daniel Habib, who criticized the then judge, George O'Toole, for not having "investigated" before. to accept them as jurors.
A 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 finish line of the Boston marathon, killing three and injuring 264. If Djokhar Tsarnaev admitted having participated in the planting of the bombs, the defense always affirmed that the young man, 19 years old at the time (27 today), was under the influence of his elder.
"America's Worst Nightmare"
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed by the police three days after the attack, after a manhunt in the suburbs of Boston. During their run, the two brothers had also shot dead a police officer.
The prosecution, during his trial, on the contrary insisted on the criminal profile of the younger of the two Tsarnaev brothers. He was then defined as "America's worst nightmare" and deserving of the death penalty, prosecutors hammered at the opening of the second part of his trial.
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In a packed courtroom, prosecutors showed a photo of the young Muslim of Chechen descent, in orange prisoner outfit, pointing a finger at a surveillance camera, while he waited in a prison cell. be indicted in July 2013. “It's Djokhar Tsarnaev. Imperturbable, without remorse, and unchanged, ”said prosecutor Nadine Pellegrini. “Why is the death penalty appropriate? Because Djokhar Tsarnaev had plotted and planned to kill, ”she hammered.