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No Delay: Appeals Court Clears Way for Boston Bombing Trial to Begin

A Federal Court of Appeals has ruled not to delay the federal trial against Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, which will begin Monday.
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A federal appeals court declined Saturday to delay the start of the Boston bombing trial — rejecting a defense request that the appeals court either order the judge to move the trial out of Boston or hold a hearing on the issue.

The vote was 2-1, with Judge Juan R. Torruella dissenting. That means the trial schedule remains on track, with jury selection beginning Monday and likely to take a week or two.

Judge Torruella tried to argue that the court acted too quickly in moving the case forward. "I have found it impossible to read even a small part of all of this evidence, much less give it the careful consideration a case involving the death penalty deserves," he wrote in a brief dissent.

Torruella also said he thought the argument by bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers — that the trial should be moved somewhere else — had some merit. "Tsarnaev's argument that the entire city of Boston and its surrounding areas were victimized — as evidenced by the city's virtual lockdown and the images of SWAT team members roaming the streets and knocking door-to-door in Watertown — is compelling."

The majority's order was brief, simply saying the defense failed to meet the high burden required for such an extraordinary action at this stage of the trial. The two judges in the majority said Torruella was mistaken that the court had only six hours to consider the defense motion, because the court had an early heads up it was coming.