"Dzhokhar will spend his remaining days locked up in prison, with the only matter remaining being whether he will die by execution," a panel of appeals court judges said Friday

By Ashley Boucher
July 31, 2020 05:21 PM
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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

The death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — the man who set off two bombs at the Boston Marathon in 2013 — has been overturned.

Three judges on the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday overturned Judge George A. O’Toole's previous sentencing of death by execution, finding that the jurors in Tsarnaev's case were not properly vetted before his trial, the Associated Press reported.

"But make no mistake: Dzhokhar will spend his remaining days locked up in prison, with the only matter remaining being whether he will die by execution," the judges said, according to the AP. A new penalty-phase trial was ordered by the judges.

The bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon injured more than 260 people and left three dead.

Dzhokhar worked with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to pull off the attack. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombing, and Dzhokhar's lawyers have argued that Tamerlan was the mastermind and thus more culpable than Dzhokhar, the AP reported.

Dzhokhar was convicted of 30 federal counts in April 2015 and is currently being held at a high-security prison in Florence, Colorado.

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During his sentencing in June 2015, Dzhokhar apologized for his part in the bombing.

"I would like to now apologize to the victims and to the survivors," he said, PEOPLE previously reported. "Immediately after the bombing that I am guilty of, I learned of some of the victims. Their names, their faces, their ages. During this trial, more of the victims had names."

"I am sorry for the lives I have taken and for the suffering I have caused and for the terrible damage I have done," he said.

In Dzhokhar's trial, at least two jurors had posted on social media about the bombing before it began, but were not asked follow-up questions or dismissed, the AP reported, despite a Boston court rule requiring further questioning in those circumstances.

On of those jurors, who called Dzhokhar a "piece of garbage" on social media before the trial, went on to become the jury's foreperson, according to the AP.