Guilty Until’ Proven Innocent?

Boston Strong is one of the most predominant slogans we have seen for the past 2 years. New England was heavily impacted by the Boston Marathon bombings; 3 people died, and many more injured. But, there is a question that hangs over the city; Can Dzokhar Tsarnaev receive a fair trial? Currently, the Tsarnaev trial will be taking place 3 miles from the Marathon finish line.

Tsarnaev’s Defense attorney’s states that, “Great local prejudice will prevent a fair trial by an impartial jury”. They have requested a change of venue twice, and both requests were denied. They go on to state, “Due to all the pretrial publicity such as media coverage, there is no chance of our client receiving a fair trial”.

Many potential jurors have already been screened, and hundreds were turned away due to either being dead-set on the fact that Tsarnaev is guilty, or being dead-set on the death penalty. More specifically, the question hanging over the city is can 18 Bostonian’s be fair?

Has this case been portrayed overly negative in the media? Will the bias stay out of the Boston Courts?  These are questions that we may never know the answer to.

Kristina Papa, A Master’s of Social Work student, stated when asked whether or not the trial will be biased, “He will get what he deserves. The city of Boston has seen and portrayed him as guilty since April of 2013. His face has been circulated in a negative light ever since the bombings happened. The lawyers can try and find a neutral jury all they want, but the picture has already been painted in the jurors’ minds”.

Dzhokar Tsarnaev has been seen as “The bomber” since the beginning. “Innocent until proven guilty”, which is one of the bases that this country’s justice system was founded on, has not applied in regards to him. It seems for Dzhokar Tsarnaev, that he is guilty until proven innocent.




The mugshot of Dzhokar Tsarnaev moments after he was apprehended. (Photo via
The mugshot of Dzhokar Tsarnaev moments after he was apprehended. (Photo via