Marathon Bombing Trial to Stay in Boston

AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins
AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins

A federal panel has decided that the publicity that the Boston Marathon Bombing received has not imperiled bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s right to an impartial jury and trial.

In a 2-1 ruling Friday, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a previous judge was correct when he denied Tsarnaev’s request to move the trial to another venue.

The majority decision insisted that “The process has been thorough and appropriately calibrated to expose bias, ignorance and prevarication” in the jury selection for the trial.

The decision went on, saying that while high profile trials do receive close media scrutiny, “Knowledge, however, does not equate to disqualifying prejudice. Distinguishing between the two is at the heart of the jury selection process.”

The accused bomber has already been denied a change of venue and made other attempts to retard the progress of the trial several times. On December 31, for instance, Judge George O’Toole Jr. denied the Tsarnaev team’s request to postpone the trial to have more time to prepare.

Then on Friday, January 2, the defense filed yet another request to postpone jury selection. Judge O’Toole rejected that request, as well, saying it would be too great an inconvenience to the more than 1,200 people who have been summoned for jury selection.

Next, early in December, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit refused a request to intervene on Tsarnaev’s behalf in another bid to put the breaks on the trial.

So, with the Tsnaraev legal team having been rebuffed yet again, the trial is back on track.

The jury will be seated this coming week and opening statements are scheduled to begin on Wednesday. If convicted, the young Tsnaraev faces life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter: @warnerthuston. Email the author at


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