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Prosecutors ask for more time to decide next steps in Boston Marathon bomber case

Prosecutors ask for more time to decide next steps in Boston Marathon bomber case
© FBI

Federal prosecutors on Monday asked for additional time to determine the next steps after an appeals court threw out convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence.

“The process of determining whether to seek further review takes time, particularly in a case of this magnitude, because it requires input from various components within the Department of Justice. Additional time is needed to make the decision in this,” DOJ attorney William Glaser wrote in a court filing, according to the New Haven Register.

Glaser wrote that the U.S. Solicitor General will ultimately make the decision. Prosecutors could also directly ask the Supreme Court to hear the case.

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In July, a three-judge appeals court panel threw out Tsarnaev’s death sentence, saying jurors were not properly screened and ordering a new penalty-phase trial.

It upheld nearly all of Tsarnaev’s nearly 30 convictions for his role in the 2013 attack. The trial judge did not disqualify potential jurors who had “already formed an opinion that Dzhokhar was guilty — and he did so in large part because they answered ‘yes’ to the question whether they could decide this high-profile case based on the evidence,” the appeals court ruled.

Tsarnaev’s attorneys have conceded his part in the bombing but said he bore less responsibility than his older brother, Tamerlan.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a gunfight with police shortly before his younger brother was taken alive.

“It is now up to the government to determine whether to put the victims and Boston through a second trial, or to allow closure to this terrible tragedy by permitting a sentence of life without the possibility of release,” an attorney for Tsarnaev said after the ruling.

“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 appeals court said in its ruling.

The bombing killed three people and injured more than 260 others.