Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal judge Wednesday to move Tsarnaev’s trial to Washington, D.C., saying a survey they conducted in May shows “an overwhelming presumption of guilt in the District of Massachusetts” and a preference for the death penalty.
The lawyers also argue that the survey shows an “extraordinarily high number of individuals in the potential jury pool who either attended or participated in the 2013 Boston Marathon, or personally know someone who did.”
The trial of Timothy McVeigh in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the most significant domestic terrorism trial before the Boston bombings, was moved to Colorado, said Tsarnaev’s lawyers.
“The community impact here is even greater than that present in [the Oklahoma case], given that the bombings occurred at the Boston Marathon on the day thousands of Bostonians and others from the region gathered to celebrate the runners, the Red Sox, and Patriots Day,” the lawyers said, adding that residents across the area had feared that friends or family members had been hurt. The lawyers also noted the emotional trauma of the weeklong manhunt for the suspects.
“If a change of venue was warranted in [the Oklahoma case], it is even more compelled by the facts presented here,” the lawyers argued.
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