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Jury Selection Begins in Boston Marathon Bombing Case
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A jury will be chosen from a 1,200 member jury pool in Boston for the Boston Marathon bombing trial.

Summary: Jury selection is expected to take several weeks in the Boston bombing case as attorneys question the 1,200-member jury pool.

The New York Daily News reports that jury selection for the Boston Marathon attack is well underway at the federal courthouse in Boston as the 1,200-member jury pool is examined by the attorneys and the judge in the case. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will face trial for his purported role in the bombing.


Tsarnaev’s parents are concerned about the trial and how their son will be treated, however. They expect the United States will harm their son. Anzor Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar’s father, said, “The Americans are going to harm my second son the same way they did to my oldest son. We already know what’s going to happen. Everything is in Allah’s hand.”

Tsarnaev appeared in federal court in December for the first time in many months.

Dzhokhar’s older brother, Tamerian, was killed after being involved in a shootout with police on April 18, 2013, just three days after the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

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Jury selection is expected to possibly take several weeks. Seating jurors began today under heightened security at the federal courthouse. A pool of 1,200 jurors will be carefully combed through by attorneys on each side to select the final jury. The selected jury will decide whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev planned and executed the two bombings that took the lives of three people and injured over 260 more. The bombs went off near the finish line of the April 15, 2013 race.

The judge in the case is known to be a strict but fair judge.

Should the jury return a guilty verdict, they will then decide whether he should receive the death penalty. Both survivors and first responders are expected to take the witness stand in the trial.

Heather Abbott, a Rhode Island resident who lost half of her left leg in the bombing, just wants to know why the bombs were set off. She said, “I don’t know whether I’ll ever get any answer to that question, but I guess I want to understand what the thought process was. Why he would want to do this to people…it’s really hard to understand.” Abbott plans to attend some of the case proceedings.

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The trial will likely take several months. Many say it’s under examination of a level not seen since Timothy McVeigh was convicted and put to death for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings.

Tsarnaev’s attorneys have relentlessly tried to move the trial outside of Boston, arguing that a jury in the city would be biased due to connections to the race. They compared it to Timothy McVeigh’s case, which was transferred to Denver for similar concerns. However, U.S. District Judge George O’Toole Jr. denied the request.

Read about the denial of the request to transfer venue here.

Jury selection will take a significant amount of time because of the extensive media coverage that occurred during and after the attacks. Further, thousands of runners, spectators, and other individuals in the Boston area were affected by the bombings. In addition, if any jurors object to the death penalty, the process will be further slowed.

According to prosecutors, Dzhokhar, 21, and Tamerian, 26, planned the bombings as payback for the actions of the United States in Muslim countries. The brothers are ethnic Chechens who lived in the United States for about ten years.

As for the defense’s argument, it is expected that they will paint a picture of Dzhokhar’s difficult childhood and will emphasize the influence Tamerian had on him. Authorities believe that Tamerian had grown increasingly radicalized in the last few years, including taking a six-month trip to Chechnya and Dagestan in 2012.

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