Lawyers 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.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 27-year-old Kyrgyz-American man found guilty in 2015 of the Boston Marathon bombings two years prior, has had his death sentence overturned by a United States appeals court on Friday.
Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has had his death sentence overturned by a federal appeals court. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was 22 when he was sentenced to death.
The three judges who issued the decision were: Juan Torruella, a Reagan appointee who dissented in part; Rogeriee Thompson, an Obama appointee who wrote the opinion; and William Kayatta, who is also an Obama appointee.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
The three-judge panel of the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston upheld much of Tsarnaev's conviction, but ordered a lower-court judge to hold a new trial over what sentence he should receive for the crimes that he was convicted of, which were eligible for the death penalty.
"And in any case, he won't be getting out and hasn't been able to harm anyone since he was captured", he wrote in a tweet.
The mother of Krystle Campbell, the 29-year-old killed in the attack, expressed outrage at the court's decision.
Former Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer Dic Donohue, who was severely injured in a gunfight with the brothers, said the ruling was not surprising to him.
Attorneys for Tsarnaev, a USA citizen who came to the United States from the former Soviet Union as a child, have always claimed that his brother was more culpable of the two, saying Dzhokhar had no history of violence.
The Justice Department now has the option of asking the entire "en banc" appeals court in Boston to hear the appeal or the DOJ could ask the Supreme Court to review the case. 1968) - only then can the judge reliably assess whether a potential juror can ignore that publicity, as the law requires. The appeals judges, in a hearing on the case in early December, devoted a significant number of questions to the juror bias argument. Prior to that, three people had been executed by the federal government in the past three decades, according to the Bureau of Prisons.
Tsarnaev admitted at his sentencing that he was "guilty of this attack, along with my brother".
US President Donald Trump weighed in on the ruling during an address to supporters on the tarmac of Tampa International Airport.
"I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering that I have caused you, for the damage I have done, irreparable damage", he said.