Judge: Paris terror won’t delay Boston bombing trial – USA TODAY
A Boston judge on Wednesday refused to delay jury selection in the murder trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev despite the terrorist attacks that have engulfed Paris.
Defense lawyers, in a court filing, claimed global anti-terrorism fervor stemming from the recent attacks in Paris would prejudice jurors. They said the attacks, which left 17 victims and the three attackers dead, had placed the marathon bombings “at the center of a grim global drama.”
Judge George O’Toole rejected the request.
“My detailed review of juror questionnaires in preparation for voir dire has so far confirmed, rather then undermined, my judgment that a fair and impartial jury can and will be chosen to determine the issues in this case,” O’Toole wrote.
Jury selection began last week, and individual questioning is set to begin Thursday. Tsarnaev’s trial is set to begin Jan. 26 and could take three or four months to complete. O’Toole earlier denied a defense request to move the trial out of Boston.
The explosion of two bombs near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon was the largest act of terrorism in Boston’s history. The attack, on April 15, left three people dead, injured more than 260 and led to at least 16 people having limbs amputated. The suspects were identified three days later as Chechen brothers Tsarnaev, now 21, and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26.
As the manhunt unfolded, prosecutors say the suspects allegedly killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, carjacked an SUV, and were involved in a shootout with police. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was wounded, was later found hiding in a backyard boat in nearby Watertown, Mass.
Massachusetts outlawed the death penalty in 1984, and no one has been executed in the state since 1947. But Tsarnaev could face death because he’s being tried in federal court instead of state court.
Contributing: Associated Press