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Boston Marathon Bomber’s Lawyers File Appeal Citing Publicity

© AFP 2021Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - Sputnik International
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Attorneys for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appealed his conviction and death sentence on Monday, arguing that there was no way to conduct an unbiased trial in Boston because of the amount of publicity surrounding the case.

After being sentenced to death in June, defense attorneys for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev filed appeal on Monday, citing "continuous and unrelenting publicity" about the tragedy, himself and his family members, NBC News reported.

"Put simply, prejudicial media coverage, events, and environment saturated greater Boston, including the social networks of actual trial jurors, and made it an improper venue for the trial of this case," the court papers say.

According to the appeal, numerous bloodcurdling stories of those who survived the marathon blasts were widely spread via social media. This made it impossible for the defendant to get a fair trial.

Tsarnaev's lawyers also claimed that the death penalty is unconstitutional, citing a recent dissent by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

"[The death penalty] now likely constitutes a legally prohibited cruel and unusual punishment." Breyer said.

A pedestrian walks past death penalty protesters before the formal sentencing of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at the federal courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts June 24, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The appeal also makes note of the fact that the city of Boston announced a new day of remembrance to mark the bombing. That decision was revealed as jurors deliberated on Tsarnaev's guilt.

The defense asked for a change of venue several times before the trial began, but the judge rejected requests.

Tsarnaev was convicted on all 30 charges for his role in carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013. The blasts killed three people and wounded over 260. He was moved to a high-security prison in Colorado last month to await execution.

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