MOSCOW, June 20 (RAPSI) – Lawyers for the suspected Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, asked a federal judge on Wednesday to move his trial to Washington, NBC News announced.
The court appointed attorneys said that a survey conducted last month among the potential jury pool in Boston, Springfield, Mass., New York and Washington showed “an overwhelming presumption of guilt” in Boston, and that the death penalty should be imposed.
According to the defense motion, roughly 58% of respondents in Boston “definitely” believed Tsarnaev was guilty and 37% believed that if convicted he deserved the death penalty. The figures in Washington were 37% and 19%, respectively.
The lawyers’ preliminary recommendation was to move the trial to Washington.
Under US law, suspects must be tried in the city where they allegedly committed the crime. But attorneys can request that a client’s trial be moved to a city where a jury would be less prejudiced by pretrial information.
On the afternoon of April 15, 2013, two explosions occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. IEDs made from pressure cookers, low explosive powder, shrapnel, adhesive, and other materials were hidden in backpacks that were then placed near metal barricades in areas packed with hundreds of spectators.
Tsarnaev was arrested following a dramatic manhunt during which his brother and co-suspect Tamerlan was killed, as was MIT Police Officer Sean Collier. Tsarnaev was charged on April 21 with the use of a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.
US prosecutors filed their notice of intent to pursue the death penalty against Tsarnaev on January 30, 2014. Tsarnaev’s trial is to begin on November 3.
Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges. He could face the death penalty if convicted.