Boston Marathon 2013

Marty Walsh, Charlie Baker react to decision overturning death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

“My focus will always be on supporting the families, the survivors, and all the people of our great city.”

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, left, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh at a news conference in March. Michael Dwyer / AP

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker each weighed in on Friday after a federal appeals court overturned the death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

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In the decision issued Friday, the panel of three judges from the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new penalty-phase trial to determine whether Tsarnaev, who was convicted five years ago on 30 charges related to the bombing, should be executed for the 2013 attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. 

Walsh wrote in a statement on Twitter that the Boston community will “never forget the tragic events of April 15, 2013,” noting that “countless lives were changed forever.”

“Since the first trial, we have always known that the perpetrator of that horrific violence would never leave the four corners of a prison cell,” Walsh wrote. “I have always supported the judicial process, and regardless of the ultimate outcome in this case, my focus will always be on supporting the families, the survivors, and all the people of our great city.”


Walsh stressed that “nothing” will ever replace what was lost in the bombings. 

”But with each new day, the Boston community continues to find new strength and healing in one another,” the mayor wrote. “That’s something that no one can ever take from us.”

In an interview with CBS Boston, the mayor said families impacted by the bombing and survivors “shouldn’t have to relive a trial.”

In a statement, Baker said the marathon bombing was “an act of terrorism that devastated families and residents across the Commonwealth and beyond.”

“Victims and their families deserve justice and I hope this case is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said. 

In the ruling vacating Tsarnaev’s death sentence, the federal appeals court wrote that George A. O’Toole Jr., the judge in Tsarnaev’s 2015 trial, did not adequately screen jurors for potential biases.

Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson wrote in the decision “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.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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