Trial of Boston Marathon Bomber Begins in Massachusetts
The trial for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has begun in Boston, despite the defense team’s request that the venue for the trial be changed. Arguing that the highly publicized event and extensive manhunt that followed would make it highly improbable that an unbiased jury could be found in the city, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit denied the request and the trial began on March 4, 2015.
A change in venue is a rare occurrence, especially at the federal level. Defense attorneys may request that an upcoming trial be moved to a different county or state to ensure due process, but it is not commonly granted. United States law is based on the precepts that trials are conducted in the area where the crime was committed so that a jury of peers can be selected from that community. This also allows the community that endured the crime the opportunity to see justice served.
In the case of the Boston Marathon bombings, defense attorneys argued that finding an unbiased jury in the Boston area would be highly improbable. The defense lawyers’ concerns were based on the wide media coverage of the bombings as they unfolded, including a live broadcast of the extensive manhunt for Tsarnaev that followed throughout the night and into the next day.
Even though Tsarnaev’s attorneys argued that their client’s rights to due process would be threatened with a trial in Boston, the appellate panel decided that an impartial jury could be found with proper screening. In the end, 12 jurors and six alternates were chosen. Since the mid-1960s, less than 20 federal venues have been changed. Judges, jurors, alternates, defendants, witnesses, and lawyers are all relocated at a cost to the taxpayers. Changes in venue at the state level are far less costly and complicated than those at the federal level.
Cherry Hill Criminal Lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, Provides Aggressive Defense for those Accused of Crimes in New Jersey
Cherry Hill criminal lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, is dedicated to aggressively defending those facing formal criminal charges in New Jersey. Having served as a Philadelphia District Attorney and a Camden County prosecutor before becoming a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, Esq. knows how both sides of the law work. Her reputation for getting her client’s charges dismissed or reduced, and finding alternatives to convictions, has made her one of South Jersey’s leading defense attorneys.
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