Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber want more time for venue motion

Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev hopes to lessen restrictions he faces in prison. (Credit: FBI/Reuters)
Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev hopes to lessen restrictions he faces in prison. (Credit: FBI/Reuters)

Attorneys for the accused Boston Marathon bomber asked a judge on Monday to extend past February 28 the deadline to try to move his trial outside of Boston, saying they cannot make such a request before they know if he is facing the death penalty.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s attorneys argued in papers filed in federal court that their decision on whether to seek a change of venue will depend in part on whether the Justice Department seeks to have Tsarnaev, 20, executed if he is convicted of charges arising from the April 15 bombing.

“The attorney general is expected to announce his penalty decision by the end of January 2014,” defense attorneys argued. “The media attention to that decision risks skewing public perception. As a result, data collected now, in advance of the attorney general’s decision, will likely be of little use in the wake of the inevitable media saturation reporting of that decision.”

U.S. laws generally require a person accused of crimes to face trial in the district where the crimes were committed, though defense attorneys may seek to have the proceedings moved to a district where potential jurors may have been less influenced by pretrial publicity.

The trial of Timothy McVeigh, for instance, who was convicted of the 1995 bombing of a federal office building in Oklahoma City, was moved to Denver.

Tsarnaev is accused of planting two homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the crowded finish line of the marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260.

Three days later, as he and his older brother, Tamerlan, planned to flee Boston, prosecutors say, the pair killed a university police officer in an unsuccessful effort to steal his gun.

Tamerlan, 26, died in a gunfight with police later that night in Watertown, Massachusetts. Dzhokhar escaped the gun battle, prompting a day-long lockdown of much of the Boston area that ended when the wounded suspect was found hiding in a drydocked boat.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all charges linked to the worst mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

News

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.

NFL

Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

Career

Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…

Sex

We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.