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Judge Chides Tsarnaev Lawyers for Releasing Jurors' Comments

The attorneys for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect included comments on confidential questionnaires in seeking a change of venue.

The judge in the Boston Marathon bombing trial on Thursday chastised defense lawyers for disclosing comments jurors made on confidential questionnaires when the attorneys again asked for a change of venue.

"Great care has been taken to maintain the integrity of the proceedings and to protect the privacy of jurors, including by keeping the completed questionnaires confidential and non-public," said Judge George O'Toole in a brief order late Thursday.

Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had said their analysis of the roughly 1400 responses on questionnaires showed a majority of potential jurors have already made up their minds that Tsarnaev is guilty and should get the death penalty. The defense motion including roughly three dozen quotations from the confidential questionnaires, identifying the individuals by juror number.

That, the judge said, was improper.

"Consequently, though the damage already may have been done by the defendant's public filing of confidential material, I have ordered the memorandum in support of the defendant's motion to be placed under seal until further order."

The judge gave no indication in his six-line order how he'll rule on the latest request for a change of venue.