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Questioning of prospective jurors to begin in Tsarnaev trial

January 14, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Prospective jurors in Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s federal death penalty trial face individual questioning as the next step of jury selection begins Thursday.

Tsarnaev, 21, is accused of carrying out twin bombings near the finish line of the 2013 marathon. The blasts killed three people and injured more than 260.

On Wednesday, the judge rejected a bid by Tsarnaev’s lawyers to suspend jury selection because of the potential impact of last week’s terror attacks in Paris.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers said delaying jury selection for at least a month 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.”

On the third day of jury selection in Tsarnaev’s trial, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi burst into the offices of a French satirical magazine, killing 12 people. The brothers were killed days later by police.

In the marathon bombing in 2013, authorities say Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, planned and carried out the attack as retaliation for U.S. wars in Muslim countries.

The judge in the Boston case has said he expects to question about 40 prospective jurors each day until enough people have been qualified to move to the final phase of jury selection.

A panel of 12 jurors and six alternates will be chosen.

Testimony is expected to begin Jan. 26.

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