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    US District Court official for the District of Massachusetts said that jury selection for the trial against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will likely finish this week.

     

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Jury selection for the trial against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will likely finish this week and opening statements could as early as next week, a US District Court official for the District of Massachusetts told Sputnik.

    “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.

    Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
    © AP Photo / Jane Flavell Collins
    Tsarnaev’s defense lawyers have sought to change the location of the trial away from the Boston area, arguing the pool of potential jurors would be biased by media coverage and the impact the bombing had on the community. The court denied the defense’s motion.

    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.

    Related:

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    Tsarnaev Appears in Court for Jury Selection in Boston Bombing Trial
    Tsarnaev Lawyers Fail to Reach Plea Agreement With Prosecution: Reports
    Jury Selection in Tsarnaev Boston Bombing Trial to Begin in Massachusetts
    Tags:
    trial, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, US
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