Judge rejects new trial for Boston Marathon bomber

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev denied new trial over Boston marathon bombing by US District Judge George O'Toole

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

A US judge rejected on Friday a request for a new trial for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, saying the issues his attorneys raised had been resolved prior to his trial last year.

Tsarnaev was sentenced last June to death by lethal injection for his role in the 2013 bomb attack, which killed three people and injured more than 260.

The judge also ordered Tsarnaev to pay more than $101 million in restitution to victims.

US District Judge George O'Toole said the court had already resolved some factors Tsarnaev's attorneys raised in seeking a new trial, such as their argument that it was impossible to seat an impartial jury in Boston due to intense publicity surrounding the attack.

"There is no reason to think that if the trial had been moved to another district, the local media in that district would not also have given it attentive coverage," O'Toole wrote in his 37-page ruling.

He also noted that defense attorney Judith Clarke admitted in her opening statements that Tsarnaev, along with his older brother Tamerlan, carried out the attack, saying "It was him."

The defense had focused on trying to spare Tsarnaev the death penalty, rather than prove his innocence.

The judge also rejected defense arguments that a new trial was justified by a Supreme Court decision, reached two days after Tsarnaev's sentencing, that a US law stiffening sentences for crimes committed while in possession of a gun was overly broad.

Boston marathon bomb blast in April 2013

A US jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death, on May 15, 2015 for his role in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Tsarnaev was convicted of killing 8-year-old Martin Richard, 23-year-old Chinese graduate student Lingzi Lu and 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell and injuring almost 300 people in one of the highest-profile attacks on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

His elder brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed three days after the attacks during a shootout with police, following the fatal shooting of Massachusetts of Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier for which Dzhokhar has been found guilty.

Dzhokhar survived with injuries and was found hiding inside of a boat in the backyard of a local house.  

TRTWorld and agencies