Attorneys for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told a federal appeals court that they believe his death sentence should be overturned due to an unfair trial, according to the Associated Press.
Tsarnaev's legal team submitted a 500-page brief in the 1st U.S. District Court of Appeals, highlighting a number of problems with the 25-year-old's 2015 trial. One of the most noteworthy issues, the team said, was the fact that the judge refused to move the case outside of Boston, a city which was "traumatized by the bombings." Tsarnaev's lawyers argued that extensive media coverage and the number of poeple in Boston impacted by the bombings justified a relocation of the trial, reports the Associated Press.
"Tsarnaev stood accused of notorious crimes. The bombings were the subject of constant and widespread publicity, which included coverage of matters that would never be admitted at trial," his lawyers wrote, per the AP. "Virtually every single prospective juror was familiar with that publicity, had been personally affected by the crimes and their aftermath, and thus had formed negative, entrenched preconceptions about Tsarnaev’s guilt and the appropriate sentence."
Lawyers also brought up issues with jurors, testimonies from surviving victims and the defense's "inability to tell jurors about links between Tsarnaev's brother and an unsolved triple killing in 2011."
Tsarnaev was sentenced to death two years after he and his brother, Tamerlan, set off two bombs near the Boston Marathon's finish line on April 15, 2013. The bombs killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. Tsarnaev was convicted of all 30 charges against him. His brother died a few days after the bombing in a gun battle with police.
Tsarnaev is currently being held at the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.