Attorneys are asking for a delay of at least one month
Jury selection in the case began last week
Attorneys for Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked Tuesday for a delay in his trial in light of the recent attacks in France.
Tsarnaev is accused of plotting with his brother and carrying out an attack near the finish line of the Boston Marathon that killed three people, wounded more than 260 and spurred a massive manhunt that terrorized the city for days in 2013.
His attorneys are asking the court to suspend jury selection, which began last week, for at least one month.
“This measure would allow some time for the extraordinary prejudice flowing from these events – and the comparison of those events to those at issue in this case – to diminish,” they wrote in their request.
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Twelve people were killed Wednesday at the offices of the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.
One day later, police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe was slayed in the suburb of Montrouge; and on Friday, a hostage siege at a kosher grocery store left four people dead.
“Almost immediately after the attacks, the press, politicians and commentators drew parallels between the French attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing. The supposed parallels included the fact that the suspects were brothers, that they reportedly were influenced by the lectures and writings of Anwar al-Awlaki, that they were ‘home-grown’ terrorists, and that they attacked civilians in a Western city,” wrote Tsarnaev’s attorneys.
They specifically cited similarities as reported by CNN, USA Today and the Boston Herald.
“It will take time for Boston-area residents, including those in the jury venire, to come to a reasoned evaluation of what, if anything, the events in Paris signify about the surviving alleged perpetrator of the Boston Marathon bombing. That process of reflection should come before – not after – the Court has had its only opportunity to question potential jurors about possible bias and prejudgment of the defendant in this case,” the attorneys wrote.
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Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.