The US Justice Department has asked the Supreme Court to review an appellate court decision to vacate the death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who along with his brother planted homemade bombs near the finish of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three spectators and injuring hundreds.

"Our hope is that this will result in reinstatement of the original sentence and avoid a retrial of the death penalty phase," US Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement Thursday.

Describing Tsarnaev as a "ideologically driven mass killer," Lelling argued that the severity of his crimes puts him "in that narrow category of criminals for whom death is a proportional punishment."

"Some have argued that executing Tsarnaev will not deter others from pursuing similar crimes. But, ultimately, this decision is not about deterrence. It is about justice."

Read more: CNN