Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had his trial set for November 3 of this year by U.S. District Judge, George O’Toole. The 20-year-old suspected terrorist is facing many charges in the upcoming trial. The charges include the planting of two bombs that killed three people during the Boston Marathon and the murder of a MIT police officer. Tsarnaev will be facing the death penalty if he is convicted for the attack.
The November 3 start date of the trial is much sooner than the later date that the defense attorneys requested. Tsarnaev’s defense originally wanted the trial to start on September of 2015 at the earliest. Judge O’Toole backed up his decision to set an early date by telling both sides of the trial to “keep in mind that not everything that can be presented for either side needs to be presented, necessarily.” The high-profile terrorism trial is expected to last for around three months, according to experts.
There are 30 total federal charges filed against Tsarnaev, and more than half of the charges “carry a death penalty.” The accused bomber has pleaded not guilty to the charges he is facing. The news of the early trial set for November comes at a desperate time for attorneys defending the Boston bombing suspect.
The access to evidence, which the prosecution controls, is wanted by the defense attorneys, who need it to build their case. The FBI is still analyzing over 2,000 items of evidence from the attack, but those are being held at the FBI headquarters for further study. The defense is accusing the prosecution of “dragging its feet” on the slow delivery of the evidence. In response to being slow with the evidence, the prosecution stated that they are “going above and beyond” to make the evidence available to the defense.
During the crowded Boston Marathon event on April 15, a pair of pressure cooker bombs detonated near the finish line of the race. Three people lost their lives from the blasts and 260 were injured. The Marathon terrorist attack was the largest deadly attack in the United States since 9/11. The three victims were Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, and Lu Lingzi.
Tsarnaev, along with his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, were accused of planting the bombs in heavily populated areas near the finish line during the Boston Marathon. Days after the attack, the two brothers tried to make an escape after their surveillance photos were released to the public. MIT police officer, Sean Collier, was shot and killed by the brothers as they were attempting to flee the city, according to authorities.
Tamerlan died in a shootout with police on April 18 after the brothers fled in a car chase. The city was shut down for the manhunt of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was still on the loose. He was eventually caught and arrested after hiding in a boat in Watertown. Tsarnaev, who is a native of Chechnya, had allegedly been inspired by Al Qaeda for his attacks.
The bombing suspect had his trial date set for early November, which was not near the later date his defense team requested. But the defense might possibly argue that the trial should be moved elsewhere because “Tsarnaev cannot receive a fair and impartial trial in Boston.” Both sides of the upcoming trial will meet on June 18 to discuss if the venue should be moved.
By Glen Parris