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article imageTrial of accused marathon bomber could be moved from Boston

By Nathan Salant     Jun 19, 2014 in Crime
Boston - Wednesday's deadline for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to seek a new location for his trial passed without any apparent further efforts to move the case.
Tsarnaev, who was captured days after the April 15, 2013, bombing killed three and injured more than 250, has been expected to ask for a change of venue from Boston, where millions remain horrified by the attack and the days-long search for who might have been responsible.
Tsarnaev's brother, Tamerlan, who had emigrated to the United States with his family from Chechnya in 2008, was killed during a shootout days after the bombing.
Tsarnaev has pleaded innocent to 30 federal charges that could bring the death penalty, according to the Associated Press.
In what is being regarded by the U.S. press as the most important decision from Wednesday's federal court hearing in Boston, Judge George O'Toole ruled that prosecutors cannot argue that Tsarnaev should be executed, if convicted, because he betrayed his adopted country.
O'Toole said it was "highly inappropriate" to distinguish between naturalized and U.S.-born citizens in determining penalties for crime, the AP said.
Tsarnaev's attorneys had contended that the prosecution's use of such an argument to justify a death sentence was unprecedented.
"(I)n not one of the 492 cases before Mr. Tsarnaev's has the government cited the fact of a defendant's American citizenship, the way he became a citizen, any aspect of his immigration history, or his enjoyment of the freedoms of an American citizen as a reason to sentence him to death," defense lawyers said last year in a court filing.
O'Toole refused to allow Tsarnaev's lawyers to meet with the defendant unsupervised by federal agents but agreed to require U.S. authorities to appoint monitors from agencies not related to the case.
More about tsarnaev, dzhokhar, Boston, Marathon, Bombing
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