Justice Department asks Supreme Court to reinstate death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber

The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to review a lower court opinion that wiped away the death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the brothers involved in the 2013 Boston marathon bombing that killed three spectators and injured hundreds. By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

(CNN) -- The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to review a lower court opinion that wiped away the death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the brothers involved in the 2013 Boston marathon bombing that killed three spectators and injured hundreds.

A federal appeals court vacated the sentence in July, citing jury selection issues and a failure to properly screen jurors for bias. The court also ruled that Tsarnaev should be given a new trial, where a new set of jurors can again decide if he should be sentenced to death. It also set aside three of his 30 convictions but said he will remain in federal prison for the rest of his life.

"The bombs caused devastating injuries that left the street with a ravaged, combat-zone look," acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall told the Supreme Court justices, with "blood and body parts everywhere, littered among BB's, nails, metal scraps and glass fragments."

The government's petition methodically lays out the events that occurred that day and is deeply critical of a lower court opinion that vacated the sentence in what the government said is one "of the most important terrorism prosecutions in our Nation's history."

Wall urged the justices to take up the case this term, arguing that the "victims, the potential jurors, the district court, the government and the Nation" should not have to bear the burdens associated with having to reinstate the capital sentence.

Tsarnaev was convicted in 2015 in the deaths of Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu at the marathon and police officer Sean Collier, among other charges. He is being held in federal prison in Florence, Colorado.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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