Boston Marathon bomber asks to overturn conviction, toss death sentence

Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Thursday asked a federal appeals court to toss his death penalty sentence and overturn his conviction for killing three people and injuring more than 260 others in the 2013 bombing attack, according to multiple reports. 

Tsarnaev's lawyers, in a brief filed in the 1st U.S. District Court of Appeals, claim their client could not have received a fair trial in Boston, where reports about the bombing saturated the news.

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"This case should not have been tried in Boston," the attorneys wrote, according to The Associated Press.

The attorneys are arguing that the case should have been moved out of the city, as it was "traumatized by the bombings, ordered to shelter in place during the manhunt, saturated by prejudicial publicity and united in the Boston Strong movement," the AP reported.

Tsarnaev in 2015 was sentenced to death for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing two years earlier. He was found guilty on all 30 charges in the bombing and its aftermath by the same jury earlier in 2015.

The jury had to unanimously agree for him to receive the death sentence. 

His lawyers are claiming that the Boston jury that sentenced him must have been inundated with “heart-wrenching stories about the homicide victims, the wounded and their families,” Reuters reported

“The pre-trial publicity was damning: the more a prospective juror had seen, the more likely she was to believe that Tsarnaev was guilty and deserved the death penalty,” the bomber's lawyers wrote in the brief. 

Tsarnaev was found guilty of placing two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April 2013, as well as fatally shooting a policeman shortly after.

The bomber's legal team has argued that the scheme was planned by his older brother, Tamerlan, who died in the manhunt days after the bombing. 

Tsarnaev is currently jailed at a prison in Colorado, according to the AP.