A federal appeals has ordered a hearing on whether to order a change of venue in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It's the first time repeated defense efforts to get the trial moved have not been rejected outright.
Defense lawyers two weeks ago asked the First Circuit Court of Appeals to move the trial somewhere else, citing responses from potential jurors to questions during the screening process. The early answers, the lawyers said, showed that 85 percent of the prospective jurors either believe Tsarnaev is guilty, or have some connection to the bombing and related incidents.
On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the appeals court scheduled a hearing on the defense motion for next week. But by a 2-1 vote, the same panel denied a defense motion to put jury selection on hold until the venue issue is resolved. So that process will continue at the federal courthouse in Boston. Three separate times, the trial just has rejected defense motions for a change of venue, and the appeals court rejected a similar request a month ago.
- Boston Marathon Bombing: Prosecutors Press Judges Not to Move Trial
- Lawyers for Boston Marathon Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Ask to Move Trial