Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Appeals Conviction, Requests Change Of Venue

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has formally appealed his conviction and requested a new trial. Through his attorneys, the accused Boston Marathon bomber filed his appeal with the United States District Court of Massachusetts. Although portions of the document were redacted, Tsarnaev’s attorneys clearly requested a new trial and a change of venue.

On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs were planted, and detonated, during the the Boston Marathon. As a result, an estimated 270 people were injured, and three were killed.

Authorities used surveillance footage, which was collected from numerous sources, to pinpoint two suspects. The men were later identified as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev — who were natives of The Chechen Republic.

On April 18, authorities narrowed their search to areas surrounding the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Watertown.

Although both brothers were eventually located, and involved in a shootout with police, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev managed to escape the scene in a stolen SUV.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died as a result of several gunshot wounds and being run over by his brother during his escape.

On the evening of April 19, Dzhokhar was found hiding underneath an abandoned boat. Although he was shot, and injured, he eventually surrendered without further incident.

During interrogation, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev admitted he and his brother were inspired by their radical Islamic beliefs. However, he contends his brother was the mastermind behind the bombings.

As reported by Biography, the accused Boston Marathon bomber was subsequently indicted on 30 federal charges, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. Although he plead not guilty to all charges, Dzhokhar was convicted and sentenced to death.

Through his attorneys, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has appealed the conviction. As stated in the appeal, the defendant requested a new trial — as “the government failed to prove each and every element of each and every charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt, and failed to prove each and every fact required to warrant the death penalty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The defendant further contends the venue unfairly contributed to his conviction.

“A new trial in a different venue is required due to continuous and unrelenting publicity combined with pervasive connections between jurors and the events surrounding the Boston Marathon Bombing that precluded impartial adjudication in both appearance and fact.”

Tsarnaev’s attorneys have also questioned “the social media activity of individual jurors.” According to the appeal, the jurors simply could not avoid traditional and social media exposure, as they were residents of eastern Massachusetts.

It is unclear whether a change of venue would have affected the outcome of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial. However, his attorneys have argued that he deserves a fair chance.

[Image via FBI / Getty Images]