Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to go on trial in November
BOSTON — Rebuffing his lawyers’ request, a federal judge has set the trial date for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for Nov. 3.
The date was set during a status hearing in Boston federal court Wednesday.
On Monday, Tsarnaev’s lawyers had filed a report requesting that the trial start no earlier than September 2015.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers said they had not had a chance to review the many pieces of physical evidence, “including nearly 2,000 items that reportedly are still being analyzed by the FBI and items kept at additional locations.”
They were unable to sway Judge George O’Toole.
“I think this is a realistic and fair date,” he said Wednesday.
Judy Clarke,Tsarnaev’s lead attorney, said “meeting the trial date will be impossible.”
Prosecutors to seek death penalty
Prosecutors said they estimate the trial would last approximately 12 weeks.
If Tsarnaev is found guilty, prosecutors expect the sentencing hearing would last approximately six weeks.
Jurors will not only weigh whether he’s guilty but also whether he deserves to die.
Federal prosecutors said last month they’ll seek the death penalty against Tsarnaev, arguing that he acted in “an especially heinous, cruel and depraved manner” and lacks remorse.
Tsarnaev is charged with 30 federal counts stemming from the April 15 attack, which left three people dead and more than 250 others injured.
Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Authorities allege Tsarnaev, a Chechnya-born American, and his brother, Tamerlan, planted two homemade bombs near the finish line of the marathon, then killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer three days later.
The attacks triggered the massive manhunt that led to Tsarnaev’s capture. Police shot and killed Tamerlan Tsarnaev during the manhunt.