The trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will begin on Monday, despite efforts by his attorney to have the trial delayed and moved to another location. Jury selection will begin on Monday, U.S. District Court Judge George O’Toole Jr. ruled on Friday, according to Boston.com.
More than 1,200 people have been summoned as potential jurors in the case, according to the Associated Press. O’Toole argued that it would inconvenience too many people to delay at this point, saying defense lawyers have known for months when the trial would begin.
“Those persons have likely arranged their affairs in reliance on the dates given them in their summonses, and any change in reporting dates would cause some unknown degree of disruption to those people,’’ O’Toole wrote in denying the request, according to the Boston Globe.
Tsarnaev’s attorney tried for a second time to get the trial moved out of Boston. The judge denied the motion and the lawyers are awaiting appeals to be considered by higher courts. The lawyers are arguing that the entire potential jury pool is bias because they all live in Boston, which was paralyzed by the manhunt in the aftermath of the bombing.
“The trial itself is set to take place at the Federal Courthouse in Boston, less than two miles from the Marathon finish line,'' ABC News reported the defense attorneys argued in an appeal. "The nature and ongoing community impact of the Marathon bombing and its aftermath, and the extensive prejudicial and emotional publicity that this sequence of crimes generated, take this case outside the realm of other high-profile murder cases, and make it clear that a change of venue is required to effectuate Mr. Tsarnaev’s right to a fair trial in a fair tribunal.”
Tsarnaev, 21, faces the death penalty for his role in the April 2013 bombing at the Boston Marathon, which killed three and injured more than 260 others. He has pled not guilty to more than 30 charges related to the bombing. According to prosecutors, Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, detonated two pressure cooker bombs at the end of the marathon route. According to investigators, the brothers were acting on extremist Islamic beliefs. After the bombing, the two brothers fled and a massive manhunt was launched, which effectively shut down the entire city of Boston and included a shootout that killed Tamerlan Tsarnaev.