(Photo: Jason Doiy)
Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev moved Friday for dismissal of his indictment on grounds the District of Massachusetts’ jury selection process was flawed in general and in particular regarding the grand jury that indicted him.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers wrote that they found “substantial violations of the Jury Selection and Service Act and of the fair cross-section requirement” during their review of jury selection within the district between 2011 and 2013.
They said, for example, that when a summons sent to one resident was returned as “undeliverable,” the courts should have sent another summons to someone else within the same zip code, but did not. They also complained that the system denied Tsarnaev a fair cross-section of the population because residents above the age of 70 were allowed to opt out of jury service. Additionally, the process allows for the underrepresentation of African-Americans, the said.
They sought to halt the proceedings “pending reconstitution of the jury wheel to conform with the Jury Selection and Service Act” and to repair the other defects asserted.
Tsarnaev is accused of setting off two bombs in April 2013 with his brother, Tamerlan, who was fatally wounded in a subsequent shootout with police. The bombs killed three people and wounded 260. Tsarnaev also is charged with murdering Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier while he and Tamerlan fled police a few days following the bombings.
The government seeks the death penalty for Tsarnaev, whose trial is slated to begin on Nov. 3.
The Boston U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.
Contact Sheri Qualters at email@example.com.