An appellate court has tossed the death sentence and overturned three of the convictions of 2013 Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The ruling will not result in Tsarnaev, 26, being freed, and the death penalty can now be revisited in a penalty-phase trial do-over.
If federal prosecutors do not pursue a second penalty-phase trial, Tsarnaev will remain imprisoned on multiple life sentences that are not affected by Friday’s ruling.
“Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will remain confined to prison for the rest of his life, with the only remaining question being whether the government will end his life by executing him,” the ruling read.
Tsarnaev is currently in a federal “supermax” prison in Colorado.
The 224-page ruling, released Friday afternoon by federal appellate Judge Rogeriee Thompson, cited two errors in the criminal and death-penalty trials that found Dzhokhar guilty and then condemned him to death.
The trial judge failed to ensure that jurors were untainted by pre-trial publicity, Thompason wrote, an error