The long-awaited trial has been delayed further, as the defense team for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is pleading for the trial not to occur in Boston on 19 February, where finding an impartial jury may prove impossible.
“They [the defense team] have tried three times before to have the trial moved to a different state,” Ms. Zbrzeznj, Global Perspectives teacher and co-moderator of the Mock Trial team, said. “It’s tough because anyone in a jury is not supposed to be biased towards a case, and Boston was really traumatized by the attack.”
The Justice Department has come under fire because of their decision to put him in a civilian trial. Critics say that since Tsarnaev is not an American citizen, he should not have a jury trial, and instead be tried before a military tribunal like other terrorists in the past.
“I believe that since this happened in America, giving him a trial by jury is fair.” Zbrzeznj continued, “However, jury selection will still be hard, because of how much attention the bombing got.”
“I think he deserves a fair trial,” said Father Chris Drennan, Middle School Theology teacher. said. “It’ll be hard finding an impartial jury, but I think it’s possible. There are people who don’t follow the news everyday, so it can’t be impossible.”
“I think everyone deserves a fair trial, regardless of their citizenship. Fair is fair,” said Drennen.
When the case does go to trial, the Justice Department has stated that they will pursue the death penalty for Tsarnaev, which has critics of the death penalty up in arms.
“I really don’t think he should get the death penalty.” Daniel Colameco, son to AP US History Mr. Colameco and who has run the Marathon three times including 2013, said. “I don’t think anyone deserves the death penalty. There’s just no point to it in my view.”
Colameco, who had already crossed the finish line when the bomb went off, said it was hard to follow the story for him.
“I don’t think the word traumatized applies here,” he said, “But I was just sad because of it. The marathon is supposed to be this big achievement for people, but it turned into something horrible.”
Since jury selection was still ongoing when the defense team appealed to have the case moved for a third time, it is hard to determine when exactly the trial will begin. What is known, however, is the defense’s arguments on behalf of Tsarnaev.
“The defense has said they are pitting the blame on his brother.” Ms. Zbzreznj said, “And he’s not here to say what role he really had. And since we don’t know what the roles were, it is hard to pursue the death penalty not knowing everything.”
“He has not shown remorse, and that should play a large role.” Zbzreznj said, “But I’m a Catholic, and we can’t just blindly go for the death penalty.”
“It was definitely a tragic event,” said Colameco, “Where a hatred and culture of of fundamentalism and extremism erupted. However, the way in which our society sees everything in black and white is dangerous, because we forget our moral values.”
“There definitely needs to be some outreach to the Islamic World,” Fr. Drennan said, “We need to let them, and especially the hard-liners, that we are not out to get them, but that we are supportive of their basic, non-radicalized views of life.”
“2013 was a bit of an odd year leading up to the marathon.” Colameco said, “The year before, it was near ninety degrees, and people had medical problems running the marathon. So, for 2013, the medical capacities were tripled.”
“I don’t want to think about how the marathon would’ve played out without this buff to the medical capacity.”