Judge: Defense Can't Delay Tsarnaev Trial Over Paris Attacks

Lawyers said violence could cause 'extraordinary prejudice'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 14, 2015 10:14 AM CST
Judge: Defense Can't Delay Tsarnaev Trial Over Paris Attacks
In this Jan. 5, 2015, file courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, left, is depicted beside US District Court Judge George O'Toole Jr.   (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)

(Newser) – Jury selection will continue in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial after a federal judge today rejected the Boston Marathon bombing suspect's bid to suspend it because of the Paris terror attacks. Tsarnaev's lawyers argued in a motion yesterday that the French terror attacks had placed the marathon bombings "at the center of a grim global drama." They said delaying jury selection would allow some time "for the extraordinary prejudice flowing from these events—and the comparison of those events to those at issue in this case—to diminish."

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Judge George O'Toole Jr. denied the motion, writing that his review of jury questionnaires "has so far confirmed, rather than undermined, my judgment that a fair and impartial jury can and will be chosen to determine the issues in this case." Jury selection began last week with more than 1,350 prospective jurors being asked to fill out lengthy questionnaires. Individual questioning of prospective jurors begins tomorrow. (Read more Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stories.)

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