Fox News contributor Trey Gowdy joined Fox News Radio's "The Guy Benson Show" Friday to react to the breaking news that a federal appeals court had thrown out the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
A three-judge panel ordered a new penalty-phase trial on the grounds that the case judge did not vet the jury properly with regard to possible bias stemming from pretrial publicity. Tsarnaev was convicted and sentenced to death in 2015 for carrying out the April 15, 2013 attack at the marathon finish line with his older brother Tamerlan, who died four days later following a shootout with police.
"Nothing in the criminal justice system, Guy, gets better with time," said Gowdy, a former state and federal prosecutor in South Carolina. "Witness recollections don't get better. The evidence doesn't get better. So it's it's harder the farther away you get from the actual incident."
Gowdy added that over the course of his legal career, he always sought to dissuade victims' families from pursuing the death penalty.
"My first thought is always with the victims … and that's what I used to counsel the family members, is, 'If we seek death, you'll be living with this for the rest of your life,'" Gowdy said. "'If we take a [sentence of] life without parole and it really means life without parole, then it can end today. And I'd say 90 percent of the families I had the conversation with opted for life without parole just for the certainty of not having to go back to court."
Fox News' Nick Givas contributed to this report.