A federal appeals court in the United States overturned the death sentence against Jochar Zarnajew, who was killed in the Boston marathon. The court in the east coast metropolis of Boston sent the case back to a subordinate court on Friday to rule on a new sentence in another hearing. Even if the death sentence was upheld after re-examination, Zarnayev would at least be sentenced to life imprisonment, the appeals court said.
The court only overturned that part of the judgment dealing with the death penalty charges. “Jochar Zarnayev will remain in prison for the rest of his life, the only question left is whether the government will end his life by his execution,” wrote the three judges of the Court of Appeal in the verdict released on Friday.
Among other things, the judges agreed with the defense that the jury’s selection process was incorrect. One of the juries is said to have called Zarnajew on Twitter as “scum”, as the convict’s lawyer said.
The 27-year-old Zarnajew was sentenced to death in mid-May 2015. The jury found the young man guilty of detonating two self-made explosive devices together with his later brother Tamerlan in the finish area of the Boston Marathon in April 2013. Three people were killed in the most serious terrorist attack in the United States since September 11, 2001, and several of the 264 injured lost arms or legs.