Judge refuses again to delay Boston Marathon bombing trial

As many as 1,000 potential jurors are to be called for the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

By Frances Burns

BOSTON, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- A federal judge has said jury selection will begin Monday in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., in a ruling Wednesday, rejected a defense request for a delay and a change of venue. Tsarnaev's lawyers immediately asked an appeals court to move the trial out of Boston and urged O'Toole to postpone its start until the court makes a decision.


The judge ruled for the second time on those issues.

The defense, in a 39-page motion, said Tsarnaev cannot get an impartial jury in the city where three people were killed and scores injured on April 15, 2013.

"A fair trial by an impartial jury -- an unbiased tribunal -- is an undoubted constitutional right," the lawyers said.

Tsarnaev, 21, could receive a death sentence if he is convicted. He and his older brother, Tamerlan, allegedly set off two bombs in backpacks near the Marathon finish line.

Rosanna Cavallaro, a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general who teaches at Suffolk University, told the Christian Science Monitor that O'Toole, who has prepared for a long jury selection and a long trial, was unlikely to move the trial days before its scheduled start.


"I can't think of what's happened in the interim that would cause (the judge) to reverse himself," she said. "I think the question has been well argued already. He wasn't asleep the last time."

The judge has said as many as 1,000 potential jurors will be callled.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a confrontation with police a few days after the bombing. The brothers allegedly killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer while they were on the run.

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