Case Summary: United States v. Tsarnaev (High School Level)

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United States v. Tsarnaev was one of our fall 2021 SCOTUS in the Classroom cases. 

Each SCOTUS Term, Street Law selects the most classroom-relevant, student-friendly cases as our SCOTUS in the Classroom cases. Teachers are encouraged to hold moot courts or mini-moot courts of the case the same weeks that the Supreme Court hears arguments, giving students the opportunity to follow discussion and analysis in the news and listen to or read a transcript of the actual oral arguments at the Court. 

Case Summary and Activities:

Case Issues: 

  1. Did the U.S. Court of Appeals err when it vacated (dismissed) Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's death sentences on the ground that the District Court during voir dire did not ask each prospective juror for a specific accounting of the pretrial media coverage that they had read heard or seen about Tsarnaev's case?
  2. Did the U.S. Court of Appeals err in concluding that the District Court should have admitted evidence at the sentencing phase of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial that Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan, was allegedly involved in different crimes two years before the offenses for which Tsarnaev was convicted?

Case Briefs:

Oral Argument:


News Articles and Resources: 

How to Conduct a Moot Court or a Mini-Moot Court:

Additional details:

  • All Street Law Case Summaries include case facts, issues, relevant constitutional provisions/statutes/precedents, arguments for each side, and decision. They have been reviewed by both legal experts and educators and are ready for classroom use.  
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