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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Kicks Off Years-Long Appeals Process

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By    |   Tuesday, 07 Jul 2015 12:34 PM

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, sentenced to death in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, has filed a motion for a new trial in U.S. district court in Boston, kicking off what it expected to be a years-long appeals process.

A federal jury convicted Tsarnaev for bombing the marathon with his brother, Tamerlan, killing three people and injuring 260 more with two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line, according to NECN. A fourth person died during the ensuing manhunt. In May, the same jury decided that Tsarnaev should get the death penalty.

 


"A new trial is required in the interests of justice and judgments notwithstanding the verdict are required as a matter of evidentiary insufficiency," the motion reads.

Tsarnaev's legal team on Monday said the new-trial motion was a placeholder and will be completely filled out by the middle of August, according to the Boston Herald. The attorneys said they expect a "judgment in his favor."

"Mr. Tsarnaev will supplement this placeholder motion with an additional filing" on or before Aug. 17, wrote defense attorney Judy Clarke.

Robert Dunham, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told Boston.com the motion was the first salvo of Tsarnaev's lengthy appeals process that could take years.

"If you compare the death penalty to an airline trip, returning the verdict is simply the plane taking off," said Dunham. "With the appeals process, we're not sure exactly where it's going to go and whether it's going to land with a death sentence and the conviction upheld, or with a reversal."

Boston.com noted that of the 80 federal death sentences since 1988, only three have been carried out.

"The job of an appellate lawyer is like an archaeologist," said Martin Weinberg, an attorney who handles federal appeals cases. "You need to dig through the transcripts and find decisions ... that went beyond the discretion of the trial judge."

Change of venue could be one issue to come up on appeal, with Boston.com noting that
Tsarnaev's attorneys asked on five occasions for the trail to be moved outside of Boston.

 


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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, sentenced to death in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, has filed a motion for a new trial in U.S. district court in Boston, kicking off what it expected to be a years-long appeals process.
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Tuesday, 07 Jul 2015 12:34 PM
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