A U.S. appeals court has rejected a bid by the defense team for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, arguing that it’s their job to weed out biased jurors.
It was the fourth request to move the trial out of Boston, where Tsarnaev has been accused of working with his brother, who died shortly after, to plant bombs at the Boston Marathon in April 2013, killing three and wounding 260, according to a CNN report.
Defense attorneys argue that there’s no way Tsarnaev will get a fair shake in the city where the dramatic events that gripped the nation occurred, but they have so far been unable to convince judges involved to move the case to another city.
It has already been almost two years since Tsarnaev has been captured, and jury selection hasn’t even begun yet with constant appeals, jury selection, and even snowstorms that have buried the city.
Judge George O’Toole has winnowed the jury field down to 70 prospects after questioning 256 in recent weeks. Three times before, the defense tried to get O’Toole to move the trial, and three times the judge rejected the appeals.
Next week, attorneys will weed out more jurors, and then 12 jurors and six alternates will be formally seated to hear opening statements in what is sure to be a dramatic and high-profile trial that will probably last well into June.
If found guilty of using weapons of mass destruction to kill at a large public event, the jury would then decide if he should get life in prison or die of lethal injection.
Prospective jurors have been questioned in detail about their biases toward Tsarnaev, and whether they would consider the death penalty in a state that hasn’t allowed it for a long time. The death penalty was removed in the state back in 1984, and the last execution was in 1947. However, since the case will be tried in federal court, the death penalty is an option.