“Juror voir dire [questioning of prospective jurors] in the case of US v. Tsarnaev will likely be concluded early this week, and the selection process will thereafter proceed to the parties’ exercise of peremptory challenges,” a court official said.
This week the court will hear pending motions that need to be resolved before it commences with evidence presentation, which will be followed by opening statements as early as next week, the court official said.
Jury selection for the Tsarnaev trial began on January 5. Twelve jurors and six alternates are to be selected from a pool of 1,000 candidates. Jury selection has been slow due to repeated weather delays and to ensure that impartial jurors are selected.
Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Dzhokhar, who faces 30 charges, half of which carry the death penalty. In his first public court appearance in July, 2013, he pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
US District Judge George O'Toole, who is overseeing the trial, said at the beginning of jury selection that should Tsarnaev be convicted, the jury will decide on whether or not to impose the death penalty.
The Boston Marathon bombings, which took place on April 15, 2013, killed three people and injured more than 260. US laa enforcement identified Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan as suspects. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police four days after the terrorist attack.