The Justice Department on Monday urged the Supreme Court to reinstate the death penalty for Boston Marathon attacker Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, calling it “one of the worst” acts of terrorism on US soil since 9/11.

Despite President Joe Biden’s public opposition to capital punishment, his administration supported an appeal first filed by his predecessor in a 48-page brief filed with the Supreme Court, which seeks to overturn a lower court decision that overturned Tsarnaev’s death sentence.

The death sentence it was canceled last July by a federal appeals court that said the judge overseeing the case did not adequately screen jurors for possible biases.

The case was first appealed by the Justice Department in October while former President Donald Trump was still in office, and this was a test of Biden’s commitment to ending the federal death penalty, which Trump resumed after a hiatus of almost two decades.

The Supreme Court said in March that it would decide whether the death penalty can be reinstated for Tsarnaev and is likely to review the case starting next fall, with a decision expected in the summer of 2022.

Tsarnaev was convicted of plotting with his older brother the 2013 bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which killed three and injured more than 260. Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shooting with the police three days later.

Tsarnaev, 27, received 20 life sentences in addition to the death penalty and will remain in prison for the rest of his life regardless of Supreme Court action.

Categorized in:

Tagged in: