BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey said Wednesday that she doesn’t support capital punishment, one day after the Department of Justice said it will urge the Supreme Court to reinstate the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
“The Boston Marathon bombing was a traumatic experience for me and so many others at the site of the explosion in 2013,” Janey tweeted. “I remain strongly opposed to the death penalty, for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or anyone else, and respect the independence of our judiciary as this case continues.”
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I remain strongly opposed to the death penalty, for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or anyone else, and respect the independence of our judiciary as this case continues.
— Kim Janey (@MayorKimJaney) June 16, 2021
Rep. Ayanna Pressley also called for an end to the death penalty in response to the news.
“State-sanctioned murder is not justice, no matter how heinous the crime. President Biden has repeatedly expressed his opposition to the death penalty and has the historic opportunity to finally bring an end to this inhumane, racist and flawed practice,” Pressley said in a statement. “I am deeply disappointed that the Department of Justice would move in conflict with the President’s stated policy position and abandon promises made to voters.”
Justice Department lawyers wrote in court documents filed Monday that the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong when it threw out the 27-year-old’s death sentence last year over concerns about the jury selection process.
Calling Tsarnaev’s case “one of the most important terrorism prosecutions in our Nation’s history,” the solicitor general’s office — which represents the administration before the high court — said the Supreme Court should “put this case back on track toward a just conclusion.”
“The jury carefully considered each of respondent’s crimes and determined that capital punishment was warranted for the horrors that he personally inflicted—setting down a shrapnel bomb in a crowd and detonating it, killing a child and a promising young student, and consigning several others ‘to a lifetime of unimaginable suffering,'” it wrote. “That determination by 12 conscientious jurors deserves respect and reinstatement by this Court.”READ MORE: Video: Likely tornado spotted in Charlestown, New Hampshire
White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in an email that the Justice Department “has independence regarding such decisions.” But Bates said the president “believes the Department should return to its prior practice, and not carry out executions.”
If the death penalty is not reinstated, Tsarnaev will have to serve out multiple life sentences.
Earlier this year, Tsarnaev filed a lawsuit over his treatment at the supermax prison in Colorado where he has been held since 2015.
Tsarnaev was convicted on 30 charges, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Killed in the 2013 bombings were Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student from China; Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager from Medford; and 8-year-old Martin Richard, who had gone to watch the marathon with his family. Massachusetts Institute of Technology police Officer Sean Collier was shot to death in his cruiser days later. More than 200 others were injured.MORE NEWS: Bail hearing postponed for Nathan Carman, charged in mom's death at sea
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