Tsarnaev lawyers officially appeal Boston Marathon bombing conviction to First Circuit

They’re also appealing an order requiring him to pay $101 million in restitution to victims.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s attorneys have said the local jury pool was not impartial.
An artist’s rendering of Tsarnaev during his sentencing in June. –Jane Flavell Collins / Reuters

Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev officially appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit Friday to reverse his conviction and sentence, as well as an order requiring him to pay $101 million in restitution to victims.

Tsarnaev’s counsel also wants the jury list unsealed. Judge George A. O’Toole has so far refused to release the list, despite no opposition from the prosecution.

O’Toole, in his decision on the jury list in August, wrote that Tsarnev’s lawyers want to examine the social media activity of the jurors and their friends.

Tsarnaev, 22, was convicted in April of all 30 counts against him related to the bombing of the Boston Marathon in 2013. The same jury voted to give him a death sentence in May.

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Earlier this month, O’Toole denied Tsarnaev’s motion for a new trial. Tsarnaev’s lawyers had repeatedly asked for a change of venue before the trial began, arguing that the jury pool here in Massachusetts was tainted by Tsarnaev’s crimes.

In February last year, before the trial began, the First Circuit split two-to-one in rejecting Tsarnaev’s request to move the trial out of Boston.

The judge who voted to move the trial, Circuit Judge Juan R. Torruella, wrote in his dissenting opinion that it was “absurd to suggest that Tsarnaev will receive a fair and impartial trial’’ in Boston. He wrote that the coverage of the bombings and the case were “unparalleled in American legal history.’’

In their majority opinion, the two judges wrote that knowledge about a case “does not equate to disqualifying prejudice.’’

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