Boston Bomber Tsarnaev Demands New Trial

     BOSTON (CN) – The local holiday One Boston Day and numerous memorials for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing made it impossible for convicted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to receive a fair trial, the convicted bomber’s attorneys said.
     “A new trial in a different venue is required due to continuous and unrelenting publicity combined with pervasive connections between jurors and the events surrounding the Boston Marathon Bombing that precluded impartial adjudication in both appearance and fact,” Tsarnaev’s lawyers said in a memorandum requesting a new trial.
     The motion filed on Tuesday lists the numerous media events that took place in Boston and surrounding communities in honor of One Boston Day, a new holiday to mark the anniversary of the 2013 bombing, while the trial was taking place.
     “The unprecedented levels of publicity and the extraordinary salience of the marathon bombings and their aftermath in the life of Boston and the surrounding communities, the basis of the defendant’s motions for change of venue before trial, continued unabated during the actual trial and sentencing,” the memo stated.
     Despite Tsarnaev’s own admission that he committed the bombing, he is challenging the specific convictions and subsequent death penalty sentence and requesting either a new trial or new sentencing phase in a new location.
     The trial took place at Moakley Courthouse in South Boston, which was surrounded by banners promoting the 2015 Boston Marathon, while construction sites adjacent to the courthouse flew “Boston Strong” banners.
     The memo cited what it called a “media circus” surrounding Tsarnaev’s family members, who traveled from Russia to testify.
     “They were admitted subject to draconian conditions including GPS monitoring and 24/7 FBI accompaniment that amounted to what was in effect ‘hotel arrest,'” the memo said. “Immediately upon their arrival at Logan Airport, after an apparent leak from law enforcement sources, the media swarmed the international witnesses and covered them constantly until they left the country.”
     The memo also argued that many of the jurors exhibited bias in their own social-media postings on Twitter, in a heavily-redacted portion of the filing.
     “Put simply, prejudicial media coverage, events, and environment saturated greater Boston, including the social networks of actually jurors, and mate it an improper venue for the trial of this case.”
     Besides arguing against the location of the trial, the memo said that Tsarnaev’s convictions as “crimes of violence” under law 924(c)(3) should be vacated because the jurors were never told which subclause Tsarnaev was being convicted under and the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Johnson v. United States this past June declared 924 (c)(3)(B) unconstitutionally vague.

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