Forum held at BC law on Boston Marathon bombing trial

U.S. District Judge George O’Toole Jr. agrees with the proceedings of the trial

Last Wednesday the BC School of Law hosted a forum about the trial of the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Judge O’Toole refused to talk about any legal matters on the case since it is in the early stages of an appeal. Instead he addressed the how-to’s in dealing with a high profile case.

However, he did agknowlede the lack of diversity in the nearly all-white jury. He accredited the process, known as voir dire. Due to this process, you do not always get a “perfect ethnic cross section of the community.”

He pointed out that a prospective Hispanic juror was rejected since she was a police officer working the night of the marathon bombing. He said that it was her job, not her ethnicity, which made her unfit to be on the jury.

He has been criticized for his secrecy in the trial proceedings, however, he feels that he has treated the public and media fairly. O’Toole says that there was an immense amount on interest in the trial.

Hundreds sent applications for media credentials, and even though there were only 30 seats set aside for media outlets, 72 asked.

The documents from the trial that have been underwraps is largely due to the lawyers. O’Toole says that “We’re keeping a little heat on them to come up with joint lists [of documents to be unsealed].”

“They’re not only deciding whether the whole document can be unsealed now, but if it can’t be as a whole document — can a redacted document? And that’s very painstaking.”

However, he says that the public can expect some more documents to be revealed in the upcoming months.

Boston College