TIME Crime

Catholics Selected for the Boston Bomber Jury Could Be Going Against Their Faith

Jury Selection Begins For Tsarnaev Trial
Jury selection for the trial of the Boston Marathon bomber started on Jan. 5, 2015 at Moakley Federal Court. A jogger runs past police vehicles in front of the courthouse John Tlumacki—Boston Globe/Getty Images

There's a potential clash between jury selection criteria and Catholic teachings

There is a distinct possibility that many of Boston’s 2 million Roman Catholics won’t be able to perform jury service in the trial of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev without violating their faith.

The criteria for selecting jurors requires them to be able to sentence the accused to death should that eventuality arise, USA Today reports.

According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, however, the death penalty must not be used if “nonlethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor.”

“It is both ironic and unfortunate that Catholics who understand and embrace this teaching will be systematically excluded from the trial,” the Rev. James Bretzke, professor of moral theology at Boston College, told USA Today.

Read more at USA Today.

TIME

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Six states have introduced so-called right-to-die legislation since the high-profile death last year of Brittany Maynard, who moved from California to Oregon so that she could end her life after a debilitating cancer diagnosis

Hunt for Impartial Jurors Delays Boston Bombing Trial

Finding impartial jurors in the case of alleged bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is proving harder than expected, a federal court in Boston announced on Thursday, and the trial that was set to begin next week will be delayed

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TIME Courts

Hunt for Impartial Jurors Delays Boston Bombing Trial

FBI Release Images Of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects
In this image released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on April 19, 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19-years-old, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing is seen. Handout—Getty Images

“Make sure he gets what he deserves," wrote a prospective juror

Finding impartial jurors in the case of alleged bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is proving harder than expected, a federal court in Boston announced Thursday, and the trial that was set to begin next week will be delayed.

Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. had scheduled opening statements to start on Monday but decided that date was now “unrealistic” given how many jurors had to be dismissed since the voir dire process began Jan. 15, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some said they were already convinced Tsarnaev was guilty, while others stated they could never agree with the death penalty.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers have argued that it will be impossible to find a fair jury in the Boston area, which was reeling after the deadly attack at the Boston Marathon finish line in April 2013. On Thursday, they requested for a third time that the judge move the trial, as 68% of the 1,373,-member jury pool admitted to already thinking of Tsarnaev as guilty.

“I am set in my ways and this kid is GUILTY,” the defense team said one person wrote on the secretive questionnaires. “Quit wasting everybody’s time with a jury and string him up,” said another. And a third wrote: “Make sure he gets what he deserves.”

Last week, the lawyers also asked for a trial delay until the publicity surrounding the recent terrorist attacks in Paris calmed down. O’Toole has repeatedly denied requests that the trial be delayed and moved out of Boston.

[Los Angeles Times]

TIME Crime

See the Final Moments Before Boston Bombing Suspect Was Arrested

Cops cornered suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose trial began this week, on April 19, 2013

Sgt. Sean Murphy visited TIME in December 2013 to discuss the photographs he made during the dramatic capture of suspected Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on April 19, 2013, in one of the first interviews since he retired from the force. As the bombing suspect’s trial on 30 criminal counts begins in Boston this week, relive the final moments of the manhunt that led to his arrest. The full interview can be read on TIME LightBox.

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TIME movies

Casey Affleck to Star in Movie About the Boston Marathon Bombing

The Apple Store Soho Presents Meet The Filmmakers: Scott Cooper And Casey Affleck,"Out Of The Furnace"
Actor Casey Affleck attends Meet the Filmmakers at the Apple Store Soho on November 19, 2013 in New York City. Jim Spellman--WireImage

The actor has reportedly signed on to star in and produce Boston Strong

Out of the Furnace star and Massachusetts native Casey Affleck has reportedly signed on to star in a film about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor is also set to produce the movie, Boston Strong, which is based on the non-fiction book by journalists Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge. Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy, which traces the aftermath of the April 15, 2013, attack near the finish line that killed three people and injured many more, was adapted by The Fighter scribes Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy.

Just like his older brother, Ben, Affleck has maintained strong ties with Boston and has made his name on films set in the city, including Good Will Hunting and Gone Baby Gone. The Afflecks even attended the same high school as Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the brothers who allegedly carried out the attack, THR adds.

There’s neither any word yet on what sort of role Affleck would play, nor a slated release date. Affleck and co-producers John Ridley and Dorothy Aufiero are thought to be getting ready to shop the project to studios and financiers soon.

[THR]

TIME Crime

Boston Bombing Suspect Requests Trial Delay

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev FBI/AP

The trial is currently scheduled to begin in November

Lawyers for Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev filed a petition Friday asking a federal judge to delay the start of his bombing trial to September 1, 2015 or later. The defense argues that it needs more time to prepare given the volume of evidence to sort through and the severity of the charges.

“The trial in this case is currently scheduled to begin just 16 months after the defendant was indicted,” the petition said. “It is critically important that any trial be fair, which means giving both sides, not just the government, enough time to uncover and present all relevant evidence.”

Earlier this month defense lawyers argued that media coverage in Boston would unfairly harm Tsarnaev’s defense and asked that the trial be moved from Boston.

Tsarnev is accused of carrying out the April 15, 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon with his brother Tamerlan. Three bystanders were killed and hundreds were injured during the bombing. A police officer died in subsequent shootings, and Tamerlan died after he was shot in the head during a manhunt for the two brothers.

The trial on charges of using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death is currently scheduled to begin in November.

TIME boston bombing

Boston Bombing Suspect’s Alleged Accomplices to Face Trial

Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov, Robel Phillipos
This courtroom sketch shows defendants Azamat Tazhayakov, left, Dias Kadyrbayev, center, and Robel Phillipos, right, college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, during a hearing in federal court Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Boston. Jane Flavell Collins—AP

A federal judge set a trial date for alleged Boston bombing accomplices Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both Kazakh nationals, who are charged with aiding Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to get rid of incriminating evidence and flee authorities

Two Kazakh nationals will stand trial for allegedly helping Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev evade authorities and jettison incriminating evidence.

USA Today reports that Federal Judge Douglas Woodstock rejected the defense team’s request to have all charges against Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov dropped, saying he would not weigh the evidence and act as “fact finder” before the trial dates.

Woodstock also rejected the defense team’s request to relocate the pair’s trials outside of Boston, where emotions might not run as high among selected jury members. Woodstock argued that the defense team’s concerns could be resolved through the usual jury vetting process.

Kazakh nationals Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov stand accused of obstructing police investigations by removing a laptop from the Boston bombing suspect’s dorm room and taking a backpack filled with firework shells emptied of explosive powder in the days after the April 15, 2013 bombings.

Tazhayakov will stand trial on June 30, and Kadyrbayev on Sept. 8. A third suspect, Robel Phillipos, will stand trial on charges of lying to investigators on Sept. 29.

[USA Today]

TIME cities

Newlywed Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors Finish Race Holding Hands

Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky each lost a leg in the bombings last year, only six months after getting married. One year later, they crossed the finish line together

Boston Marathon husband and wife bombing survivors Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, who each lost a leg in last year's bombings, roll across the finish line in the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston.
Boston Marathon husband and wife bombing survivors Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, who each lost a leg in last year’s bombings, roll across the finish line in the 118th Boston Marathon, April 21, 2014 in Boston. Elise Amendola—AP

Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky lost limbs as victims of the Boston Marathon bombing last year. One year on, they rolled across the finish line in wheelchairs, hand-in-hand.

After the first explosion on Boylston Street in 2013, the couple, watching the race together, suffered matching injuries: They each lost their left leg below the knee. Patrick’s memories of the crisis are murky but Jessica remembers the trauma clearly. In an interview with the Boston Globe, she recalled trying to block Patrick’s view from his own severed foot while a passerby extinguished her flaming clothes.

The couple recovered together, and returned to the marathon in 2014, side by side. “We’ve been married a year and a half,” Patrick told the Boston Globe, “but it’s like we have the knowledge of a couple that’s been married 10 years.”

TIME Boston Marathon

Boston Will Commemorate Tragedy Before Running Another Race

Boston must pay its respects to the victims of last year's tragedy while putting on another race

BOSTON—While survivors and others gather for a solemn ceremony to mark the anniversary of the bombings at last year’s Boston Marathon, runners from around the world will be arriving in brightly-colored running gear just outside to prepare for this year’s competition.

It’s a disconnect that exemplifies a rare, if not singular, challenge: the need to commemorate a tragedy that coincides with an iconic annual event. And it means planners have to balance grieving about the past with staging an athletic spectacle that’s all about positive emotion.

“It really is a huge pendulum sweep,” says Dusty Rhodes, who is in charge of the tribute.

A unusual calendar quirk will help: The Boston Marathon is always run on the third Monday in April. Last year’s marathon was on April 15, the earliest possible date, while this year’s will be on April 21, the latest. That gives organizers six days between the anniversary of last year’s bombings and the runners’ gathering at the starting line.

“What we really want to have happen on Tuesday is the appropriate focus on the victims and the community and the enormity of the impact and the sadness and the challenge, and then move forward,” says Rhodes. “Come Wednesday morning after the tribute, let’s go and have the world’s best marathon that we can have.”

The commemoration will recognize the three people killed by two bombs placed on Boylston Street during last year’s marathon, an MIT police officer fatally shot by the alleged bombers three days later, the 264 who were hurt in the blasts, many of them gravely, and the firefighters, police, hospital employees and others who responded to the emergency.

Participants will file out of a local convention hall behind an honor guard and place a wreath at the freshly painted blue-and-yellow finish line. They will observe a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m., the exact moment when the first of the bombs exploded.

Church bells will ring citywide at 2:50 p.m. along with the horns of boats in the city’s famous harbor. The finish-line flag familiar from the photographs of last year’s chaos will be raised, and church bells will play Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

“By the time we get to the end of the tribute program, it’s about hope,” Rhodes says. “We’ve done well, we’re a team, we’ve been a strong team, and we will be a strong team. And that’s the tone we close with. It’s a microcosm of what the whole week will be.”

For all of that, officials say they can’t predict, and don’t presume to dictate, how people will remember the events of last year while also watching this year’s race unfold.

“That’s not for us to reconcile,” said Tom Grilk, executive director of marathon parent the Boston Athletic Association. “It’s for us to provide people with an opportunity to do what they do and to remember and react the way they wish.”

As for the marathon itself, Grilk hopes it “will be what it has always been, an international athletic event and a day of celebration and joy for the runners and spectators along the way and volunteers,” he says. “What we have heard from people is that we along with them have to move forward, have to display that determination, colored by that history that happened before.”

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