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Boston Marathon Bomber’s Lawyers Want Conviction Overturned

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have asked an appeals court to overturn his conviction and death penalty, arguing that it was impossible for him to get a fair trial in the same city where the deadly 2013 terrorist attack took place.

In a brief filed with the appeals court in Boston on December 27, the lawyers acknowledged that their client and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, carried out the attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

But they argued that extensive media coverage of the bombings meant that nearly the entire jury pool was exposed to news about the attacks, which included "heart-wrenching stories” about the victims and their families.

"This case should not have been tried in Boston," the attorneys wrote.

Tsarnaev's legal team also outlined a host of other issues with his 2015 trial.

Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen and naturalized U.S. citizen who was enrolled at a Massachusetts university, was sentenced to death just over two years after he and his brother set off bombs near the Boston Marathon's finish line on April 15, 2013.

He was found guilty of placing a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the race, as well as fatally shooting a policeman three days later.

Tsarnaev, now 25, admitted at his sentencing that he committed the attack.

He is behind bars at the high-security "supermax" prison in Florence, Colorado.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a gunbattle with police a few days after the bombing.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters