“Where would you go?”  The questioner demanded, briefly pausing an animated conversation. “Where would you go to find a place where they don’t think Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is guilty?”

Many Bostonians may share that sentiment. This is a city still binding up its wounds nearly a year and half after twin bombs killed and maimed. A city where time is still marked by before and after. But, is there any place where the emotional temperature is not quite so hot as here where smoke and fire darkened the skies, and blood left a permanent stain?

Lawyers for  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev say yes. They have petitioned to move the November trial to Washington D.C. The defense team commissioned a survey in May, which revealed strong support for the death penalty, and “an overwhelming presumption of guilt in the District Of Massachusetts.”  The preliminary results also reveal similar feelings from residents of Springfield and Manhattan. But, among Washington DC residents there is a marked difference--only a third of those survey participants believe Tsarneav is guilty.

I concede it may not be possible to find potential jurors who know nothing about the Boston Marathon bombing, or the now twenty one year old accused bomber. A recent gathering of Bostonians and visitors illustrates the point. For this passionate group of discussants, moving the trial will make no difference. Gail spit out her anger, “I know what the…expletive deleted …did and I live in Nevada!”

I’m neither apologist nor sympathizer for the accused and frankly I don’t know that I can put aside my memories of the bombing. But, I am more convinced than ever that a change of venue for this trial may be the only way to ensure an impartial jury and a fair trial. No matter what we believe happened, or what we think should happen to the alleged perpetrator. Now I’ve had my faith in the legal system shaken because of justice denied, and innocent men and women put to death. But, I’ve also seen how lawlessness destroys when presumptions of guilt or innocence are left to majority opinion.

After the Oklahoma City bombings, everybody in the country knew Timothy McVeigh’s name and the details of the tragedy. McVeigh’s case was moved to Colorado. Tsarnaev’s lawyers argue,  “If a change of venue was merited in that case, their case is even clearer cut.  They point to their survey results, which shows “an extraordinarily high number of individuals in the potential pool who either attended or participated in the 2013 Boston Marathon or knew someone who did.”

The judge’s ruling on the change of venue is expected soon. I would hope he will reject the arguments that justice is only served if Dzokokhar Tsarnaev faces a jury of his peers in Boston. I urge the judge to be guided by these simple words from former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart. “Fairness,” he said, ” is what justice really is.”

Callie Crossley is the host of Under the Radar.