By MARK SHERMAN / AP
The Supreme Court said Monday it will consider reinstating the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, presenting President Joe Biden with an early test of his opposition to capital punishment.
The justices agreed to hear an appeal filed by the Trump administration, which carried out executions of 13 federal inmates in its final six months in office, including three in the last week of President Donald Trump’s term.
The case won’t be heard until the fall, and it’s unclear how the new administration will approach Tsarnaev’s case. The initial prosecution and decision to seek a death sentence was made by the Obama administration, in which Biden served as vice president.
Biden has pledged to seek an end to the federal death penalty, but he has said nothing about how he plans to do so.
In just over two months in office, the new administration has reversed its predecessor’s position in several high court cases. But the Justice Department has not notified the court of any change in its position in Tsarnaev’s case.