His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a gun battle with police days after the two brothers detonated two pressure cooker bombs near the marathon finish line.
A federal appeals court on Friday overturned Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's death penalty sentence for helping carry out the 2013 attack, which killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two Boston Marathon bombers, is no longer on death row. But they argued that Dzhokar Tsarnaev is less culpable than his brother, who they said was the mastermind behind the attack. A lawyer for Tsarnaev did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "Dzhohkar Tsarnaev's death sentences on Counts 4, 5, 9, 10, and 14 are vacated, and the matter is remanded to the district court with directions to hold a new penalty-phase trial".
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fled the shootout and was captured a day later, after being found hiding in a boat in the backyard of a house in Watertown - a suburb of Boston.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's office in Bostonsaid they are now reviewing the opinion and declined further comment at this time.
The 1st Circuit said the "pervasive" media coverage featuring "bone-chilling still shots and videos" of the bombing and dayslong manhunt required the judge to run a jury selection process "sufficient to identify prejudice".
The trial judge allowed his jury to include 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".
One post after Tsarnaev's capture called him a 'piece of garbage'.
The decision cites two errors: the judge in Tsarnaev's convictions did not meet Patriarca standards and denied Tsarnaev's post-trial motion for judgments of acquittal. He has been serving his sentence in a high-security supermax prison in Colorado.
Tsarnaev was convicted on 30 charges, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction.
"I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering that I have caused you, for the damage I have done, irreparable damage", said Tsarnaev.