The second phase of jury selection in the federal Boston Marathon bombing trial is expected to begin Thursday, according to court officials.Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, is charged with carrying out the April 15, 2013 bombing at the Boylston Street finish line of the Boston Marathon.
The blasts killed three people and maimed 264 others. He is also accused of shooting dead an MIT police officer during a manhunt days later.Nearly 1,400 prospective jurors turned out at Moakley Federal Court in Boston last week, where they filled out 28-page juror questionnaires meant to filter out biased jurors.
The judge has summoned a total of 3,000 people to the courthouse. The field needs to be whittled down to 12 jurors and six alternates.
The questionnaires ask prospective jurors’ about their backgrounds and their feelings about Tsarnaev and the bombing. The questionnaires also ask their opinion on the death penalty, as Tsarnaev could be executed if convicted.
Tsarnaev’s defense had previously requested the trial be moved outside Boston, arguing that the bombing’s blanket media coverage in Boston and a local bias would prevent a fair trial. U.S. District Judge George O’Toole, who is presiding over the case, rejected the request.
Opening statements in the trial are expected to begin at the end of the month.