Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev want him to have a a new trial outside of Boston because of the “unrelenting publicity” surrounding the case and the “connections” between the city’s jurors and the events surrounding the 2013 bombing.
The appeal was made late Monday in a 39-page filing submitted to the US District Court in Boston. A federal jury sentenced Tsarnaev to death in May.
Tsarnaev is the younger of the two brothers who planted two pressure cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon in April, 2013, killing 3 people and injuring 264 others. His lawyers had previously asked for a change of venue before the trial, in February, but the request was shot down by a federal appeals panel.
In the most recent filing, Tsarnaev’s lawyers argued that “unprecedented” levels of publicity continued “unabated” during the trial. These include the announcement of a new holiday called ‘One Boston Day’ to celebrate the anniversary of the bombings, and coverage of the 2015 marathon in a way that tied it back to 2013. The appeal also alleged that posters for the 2015 marathon honoring the bombing victims were visible from the courtroom doors.
Tsarnaev’s team said that the individual jurors’ social media accounts were saturated with activity that could have compromised the fairness of the trial.
He is currently being held at the United States Penitentiary in Florence, CO., the most secure prison in the country.