The U.S. appellate panel has been requested to override a federal judge by the attorney of the accused Boston Marathon bomber on Thursday to move the case out of the city.
Their argument is for impartial trial, which, according the attorney is not impossible close to the site of the attack.
The attorney of the accused, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s plea has been rejected three times by U.S. District Judge George O’Toole, disallowing the case to exit from the city of Boston.
The bombing killed three and injured 264 in 2013.
The attorney, Judith Mizner of Tsarnaev, 21, pleaded to the three-judge panel with a carefully crafted argument, “This attack was viewed as an attack on the marathon itself … and an attack on the city of Boston.”
The Boston residents flocked in thousands, crowding the finishing line of the race, when the twin bombs went off on April 15, 2013.
Tens of thousands were ordered to be confined in their homes for four days as the precautionary measure following the bomb attack.
The police executed a substantial manhunt tracing Tsarnaev.
Mizner views this trial as shrouded with personal bias as there is a high degree of personal connection with the incident that is likely to empanel a biased jury in Boston. It would be easier for an unbiased trial any other city.
“You aren’t going to have people in Washington who say, ‘My best friend was standing by the finish line,'” Mizner said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb noted 61 people were identified to be able to serve the jury in the form of in-person questioning process named as “voir dire.” The jury selection commenced early last month.
Weinreb is upbeat as “the voir dire process is working.”
According to Appellate Judge Juan Torruella, some possible candidates have expressed their willingness to serve jury, having a strong presumption of Tsarnaev’s guilt.
He pointed out that over 1,350 potential jurors are sanguine that Tsarnaev was guilty and the trial is nothing but a farce. There are some who even went further.
The questions are raised regarding the existence of an open mind, of the potential jurors and their credibility to serve the jury. However, they are backed by Weinreb, who countered the questions regarding the anomaly some jurors shown regarding the trial.
Weinreb said, “People who have strong feelings about this case are unhesitatingly admitting them.”
The appellate panel is yet to take a decision on the request.
The case is further complicated by the question of whether Tsarnaev will face death penalty if convicted.
Massachusetts state law does not permit execution. Moreover, as a survey conducted with over 200 candidates revealed their reluctance for capital punishment, according to a report.
Mizner noted that chance of unbiased trial is remote as the cement trucks and a number of active construction sites surrounding the waterfront courtyard are painted with the slogan, “Boston Strong”. These words were rallying cry of the city in the aftermath of the incident.