Surveys show bias of potential jurors in Boston bombing trial
The New York Times - 01/22/2015
Massachusetts has little experience with modern death penalty cases. It is one of 18 states that have abolished capital punishment, and the last execution here was carried out in 1947. Mr. Tsarnaev is charged with 30 federal crimes, 17 of which carry the death penalty if he is convicted. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
“Eastern Massachusetts has a long and well-chronicled history of opposition to the death penalty,” said Daniel S. Medwed, a law professor at Northeastern University. “So this means that many of the remaining acceptable people who are not dismissed on the basis of having an opinion or having a connection will be disqualified because of their moral opposition to the death penalty.”
He called this problematic. “It means that people who are informed and interested in what’s going on are considered to be ill-equipped to evaluate it,” he said.