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Supreme Court considers reinstating Boston Marathon bomber’s death sentence

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The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a government appeal to reinstate the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted in 2013.

In July, the federal appeals court in Boston threw out Tsarnaev’s sentence because it said the judge at his trial did not do enough to ensure the jury would not be biased against him.

Then-Attorney General William Barr promised to appeal the decision and the Justice Department followed through in October. The appeals court ordered a new trial to determine whether Tsarnaev should be executed for the 2013 attack.

If the justices overturn the appeals court, Tsarnaev’s death sentence could be reinstated.

Reinstating the death sentence in Tsarnaev’s case could put the Biden administration in a tough spot since President Biden vowed to end the death penalty during his campaign.

The case will not be heard until the fall.

Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, planted two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the marathon that killed three people and seriously injured more than 250 others. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a shootout.

Tsarnaev was convicted of all 30 charges against him, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction and the killing of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer. Tsarnaev is currently in federal prison in Colorado.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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BREAKING: Senate votes down both articles of impeachment against Mayorkas in party-line vote

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The Senate voted down two articles of impeachment Wednesday which alleged Department of Homeland Security Secretary  Alejandro Mayorkas engaged in the “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” regarding the southern border in his capacity as DHS secretary. The second claimed Mayorkas had breached public trust.

What resulted in a party-line vote, began with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., proposing a point of order declaring the first article unconstitutional, to which the majority of senators agreed following several failed motions by Republicans. The article was deemed unconstitutional by a vote of 51-48, with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voting present.

Fox News reports:

Schumer’s point of order was proposed after his request for unanimous consent, which would have provided a set amount of time for debate among the senators, as well as votes on two GOP resolutions and a set amount of agreed upon points of order, was objected to by Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo.

Schmitt stated in his objection that the Senate should conduct a full trial into the impeachment articles against Mayorkas, rather than the debate and points of order suggested by Schumer’s unanimous consent request, which would be followed by a likely successful motion to dismiss the articles. 

Republican senators took issue with Schumer’s point of order, as agreeing to it would effectively kill the first of the two articles. Several GOP lawmakers proposed motions, which took precedence over the point of order, to adjourn or table the point, among other things. But all GOP motions failed. 

After another batch of motions to avoid voting on Schumer’s second point of order, which would deem the second article unconstitutional, the Senate agreed to it. The vote was along party lines 51-49, with Murkowski rejoining the Republicans. 

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