Trial Date Set for Alleged Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
The trial for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been scheduled for November 3, 2014.
Correction. Tsarnaev trial date set for November 3, 2014
— U.S. Attorney MA (@DMAnews1) February 12, 2014
In the first court hearing since Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the government could pursue the death penalty against Tsarnaev, prosecutors and defense attorneys met in front of a federal judge to try and figure out a date for the trial.
At the Moakley Courthouse on Boston’s waterfront, Judge George O’Toole ruled that the trial would begin in the fall. Tsarnaev’s defense team had been trying to secure a later date for the trial, hoping for sometime in 2015. In a joint filing submitted in federal court earlier this week, Tsarnaev’s defense team argued that a later trial date would give them time to sift through all of the evidence that prosecutors have been examining. But O’Toole set the date sooner than expected.
The trial is expected to last at least three months, and if Tsarneav is convicted of certain charges, a jury will then have to deliberate and decide if the suspect should receive the death penalty.
Attorneys said they have roughly 2,000 exhibits to examine during the trial, ranging from ball bearings to components allegedly used to make the bombs that went off at the Marathon finish line on April 15, 2013, killing three people and injuring more than 250 others.
No decision has been made yet on a venue change for the trial, but if the defense team representing Tsarnaev wants to take the trial out of Boston, they will have to file their request by June. Tsarnaev wasn’t present at the pre-trial conference on Wednesday, but supporters and Boston Marathon bombing victims were in the courtroom.
Tsarnaev faces 30 charges, many of which are punishable by death. Last month, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz confirmed that Holder authorized federal prosecutors to pursue capital punishment against Tsarnaev for his alleged role in the bombings. “We support this decision and the trial team is prepared to move forward with the prosecution,” according to a statement from Ortiz’s office.