Last week, Federal Judge George O'Toole denied Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's request to move his trial out of Boston. As some will recall, Mr. Tsarnaev is charged with carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing. The judge believes that despite widespread media reports about the bombing and the fact that the the trial will be held one mile from the finish line of the marathon he can still impanel impartial jurors. According to the judge, [i]t stretches the imagination to suggest that an impartial jury cannot be successfully selected from this large pool of potential jurors.
The judge also questioned the evidence put forward by the defendant to support a change of venue motion. In his decision the judge noted that
[t]he defendant relies almost exclusively on a telephonic poll and an analysis of newspaper articles to support his argument that venue must be transferred due to the impact of pretrial publicity. I have reviewed the materials submitted. For substantially the same reasons articulated in the government’s sur-reply, those results do not persuasively show that the media coverage has contained blatantly prejudicial information that prospective jurors could not reasonably be expected to cabin or ignore.