Americans were horrified in April of 2013 when a terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon left three people dead and many more injured.
This week, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a six to three decision that one of the men responsible for that atrocity can be executed.
Justice Thomas stresses that Tsarnaev received “a fair trial before an impartial jury”
“Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed heinous crimes,” the Associated Press quoted Justice Clarence Thomas as writing in his majority opinion on Friday.
“The Sixth Amendment nonetheless guaranteed him a fair trial before an impartial jury,” Thomas noted before adding, “He received one.”
However, outgoing Justice Stephen expressed his disagreement in a dissenting opinion, writing, “I have written elsewhere about the problems inherent in a system that allows for the imposition of the death penalty…This case provides just one more example of some of those problems.”
The Associated Press noted that Friday’s judgment overturned a 2020 ruling from the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which vacated Tsarnaev’s death sentence.
It found that the trial judge in Tsarnaev’s case was wrong to exclude evidence that he was radicalized by his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died following the bombing in a shootout with police.
The appeals court also contended that the trial judge did not sufficiently question jurors concerning the amount of media coverage they had been exposed to before Tsarnaev’s trial.
President Joe Biden put a halt last year to all federal executions
The Associated Press reported that some of those who suffered from Tsarnaev’s attack welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision on Twitter.
Adrianne Haslet is a professional ballroom dancer who needed to have one of her legs amputated said, “Congratulations to all who worked tirelessly for justice.”
Meanwhile, Massachusetts transit police officer Dic Donohue declared, “Bottom line: He can’t kill anyone else.” Donohue sustained critical injuries while trading gunfire with the Tsarnaev brothers.
Yet despite this week’s ruling, there appears to be very little chance that Tsarnaev will be executed anytime soon as President Biden imposed a moratorium on all federal executions within months of taking office.