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Tsarnaev defense still pushing to delay trial

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is set to stand trial for the Boston Marathon bombings on January 5.

With less than one week until accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is due to stand trial for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, defense attorneys are renewing a push to delay the terror trial.

Tsarnaev's attorneys renewed their pitch Monday to delay his trial until the fall. As it stands, jury selection is slated to begin next Monday - on January 5. Defense lawyers said in papers filed Monday in US District Court in Boston that federal prosecutors held off on releasing thousands of documents to them at the last minute.

“While the government may be loath to admit it, both sides would obviously benefit from a continuance, which also would serve the broader interests of justice,’’ Tsarnaev's defense wrote. “Affording the parties additional time to prepare their respective presentations in an organized and orderly fashion would . . . streamline a complex and lengthy trial.’’

Defense attorneys were successful in pushing the high-profile trial back - from November to January - though the 21-year-old's attorney have continuously sought more time. Before Monday, the most recent request to push back the trial was made on Dec. 23.

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Tsarnaev's lawyers have also sought to move his trial out of Boston - citing media saturation and local bias - but so far have been unsuccessful in their attempts.

US District Judge George O'Toole Jr. has not ruled on this latest request for a later trial date.

Tsarnaev faces the death penalty if convicted. He is charged with helping his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who is dead, detonate two homemade pressure cooker bombs at the Boylston Street finish line of the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon. Three people were killed that day, and 264 were injured. Tsarnaev is also charged in the later shooting death of an MIT police officer.

 
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