Friday, January 23, 2015

Tsarnaev team cites jury pool bias in latest demand to move trial

The third demand by attorneys for terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are again demanding the trial be moved out of state, arguing 85 percent of the 1,373 prospective jurors have written him off as guilty or have a personal stake in his alleged crimes — findings one legal expert said is grist for an appeal.

The defense motion calling for a change of venue states: “an extraordinary 85 percent of the prospective jurors either believe Mr. Tsarnaev is guilty, or have some self-identified connection to the case, or both.” It further states, “68 percent of those 1,373 respondents already believe Mr. Tsarnaev is guilty before hearing a single witness.”

The claim is based on chilling, confidential written responses in questionnaires filled out by the jury pool.

One juror, whose status is unknown, reported having a niece at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder because she “saw physical destruction of body parts.” Another, previously listed as excused for cause, said, “For this case, I think a public execution would be appropriate, preferably by bomb at the finish line of the marathon.”


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