Federal prosecutors fighting the effort by alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team to move his trial out of Boston made an interesting argument in a new court filing Tuesday: The media’s coverage of Tsarnaev has served to improve his reputation.
“Far from ‘demonizing’ Tsarnaev, the local press has largely humanized him, portraying him not as a member of a violent or terrorist group but as a popular and successful student and the beloved captain of his high school wrestling team,” prosecutors wrote in the new filing (posted here). “Teachers, classmates, friends, and neighbors have almost uniformly been quoted as saying that they were baffled by Tsarnaev’s alleged role in the Marathon bombings.”
Defense lawyers asked that Tsarnaev’s trial on murder, bombing and other charges be held outside of Massachusetts, preferably in Washington, D.C. The defense attorneys cite widespread prejudicial publicity about the bombings, as well as the widespread impact on the community.