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Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to put jury selection on hold and order the judge to move the trial outside the city.
Questionnaires completed by potential jurors revealed that 85 percent of them believe Tsarnaev is guilty or that they have some self-identified connection to the case — or both. Fully 68 percent of prospective jurors already believe Tsarnaev is guilty, his lawyers said in a filing with the 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
"It is unrealistic to expect that even the most sincere and scrupulous jurors can shield themselves from the biases and connections that inundate the communities in which they, themselves, live," Tsarnaev's lawyers argued.
They've asked the appeals court to either order a change of venue or at least put a temporary stop to any further jury selection until the trial judge rules on their change of venue motion.
The appeals court turned down an earlier request from Tsarnaev's lawyers in January. But the lawyers say they've made the legal arguments the appeals court said were lacking last time.