Judge Denies Tsarnaev Motion to Delay Start of Jury Selection - NECN
Tsarnaev Trial

Tsarnaev Trial

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death

Judge Denies Tsarnaev Motion to Delay Start of Jury Selection

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A judge denied a defense motion to move the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev out of Boston on Friday, allowing for jury selection to begin on Monday as scheduled. (Published Friday, Jan. 2, 2015)

    On what is essentially the eve of the start of the trial of Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his attorneys are taking one last shot at both delaying the trial and moving it out of Boston.

    Defense attorneys have asked the First Circuit Court of Appeals to step in and overrule U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole's decisions to deny a change of venue and a continuance.

    NECN Legal Editor Randy Chapman says while this is an extraordinary case and the appeals court could certainly delay the proceedings, it's not likely.

    "The appeals courts generally give great deference to the trial court's decisions," said Chapman.

    Pending a decision by the appeals court, the defense asked Judge O'Toole to at least delay jury selection, which is scheduled to start Monday.

    But the judge even denied that, saying it would be a disruption to the 1,200 prospective jurors scheduled to report to court next week.

    Chapman says at the very least, Tsarnaev's defense team could be laying the groundwork for appeals later on.

    "This is a case that he is potentially going to be put to death," said Chapman. "There will be extraordinary scrutiny of every decision that the court makes in the course of the case."

    But for the survivors of the marathon bombings, like Heather Abbott, who's been waiting nearly two years to see this case go to court, the sooner the trial can be over with, the better.

    "I'm, I guess, anxious for it to kind of come and go, but I'm certainly interested in what will happen and we'll probably attend part of the trial," said Abbott.

    The first phase of jury selection is scheduled to take place over six sessions Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

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