Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's legal team seems to be pulling out all the stops in trying to delay his trial for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three and injured 264. They have delayed jury selection three times for three separate weather-related complaints since Tuesday. But the snow days for the trial don't stop there. Tsarnaev's lawyers are now trying to have the trial delayed because someone shoveled the Marathon finish line.
Attorneys representing Tsarnaev, who is accused of setting off deadly bombs at the Boston Marathon in April 2013, claimed Friday that the viral story of a Bostonian who shoveled the finish line will make a fair trial "impossible." According to the New York Daily News, Tsarnaev's defense team is arguing that it is "unrealistic to expect" to find impartial jurors in the city of Boston. The attorneys said coverage of the story represented an "unprecedented level of public feeling that still surrounds the Boston Marathon bombing."
This claim is only the latest in a series of seemingly desperate attempts to postpone or relocate the highly-anticipated trial, in which the defendant faces the death penalty. In January, Tsarnaev's lawyers sought to delay jury selection on the basis that the terrorist attacks in Paris would bias any jury unfairly against him. Apparently, the very publicized violence was liable to bring "extraordinary prejudice" toward Tsarnaev, who faces 30 federal charges, because of the incident's resemblance to his alleged act of terrorism. Unconvinced, Judge George O'Toole refused the defense's request.
But Tsarnaev's lawyers aren't stopping after five attempted delays. The team is set to continue trying to remove responsibility from the defendant, instead placing the blame on his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died after a gun battle with police.
Lawyers are planning to argue that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's near-hero-worship of his older brother made Dzhokhar unable to resist him when Tamerlan Tsarnaev persuaded him to help with the bombings. Elmirza Khozhugov, the former husband of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's sister Ailina, told The Associated Press, "Dzhokhar loved him. He would do whatever Tamerlan would say." Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers are hoping to prove that he was under duress when he allegedly set the fatal bombs.
The court has heard from 114 potential jurors, most of whom seem to think Tsarnaev is guilty. According to CNN, here are some of the straightforward things Massachusetts residents wrote on their real, actual juror questionnaires:
"Caught red-handed, should not waste the $ on the trial."
"We all know he's guilty so quit wasting everybody's time with a jury and string him up."
"Waste of time, they should have already killed him."
It's understandable that Tsarnaev's lawyers are trying to get crafty in delaying the jury selection, delaying the trial, and even attempting to have the trial moved so the defendant can get a fair trial and due process of law. But it might be in the defense's best interest to stop their increasingly frivolous claims.