A death penalty sentence against confessed Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was thrown out Friday by a federal appeals court in Boston.
Citing errors by a lower court, a three-judge panel from the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the widely publicized case back to the federal District Court that had convicted Tsarnaev in 2015 and ordered six death sentences for him as well as 11 concurrent life sentences.
In the ruling, that court was ordered to impanel a new jury and hold a sentencing retrial for the death penalty convictions.
"A core promise of our criminal-justice system is that even the very worst among us deserves to be fairly tried and lawfully punished," Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson wrote in the 224-page opinion, noting the District Court judge had failed to vet the trial's jurors adequately for bias.
Attorneys for Tsarnaev have acknowledged that he and his older brother Tamerlan, who was killed during the manhunt that followed the 2013 bombing, detonated two homemade pressure cooker bombs that killed three people and wounded at least 260 others near the finish line of the annual foot race.
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