Like hundreds of schools and businesses around the area, the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been delayed by snow amounts so unmanageable it would have been impossible for potential jurors to make it to court. So far the trial has been set back a total of 6 snow days. The process was slow enough but the snow has been a killer since Judge George O’Toole had hoped to begin testimony January 26th – a date long in the rear view mirror.

Even as voir dire continues, the defense is still madly trying to change the venue – already Judge O’Toole has denied 3 motions. But now the First Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear yet another motion next Thursday.

Based on juror questionnaires, and now more than 200 jurors who have actually appeared for voir dire, the defense is armed with what would appear to be an arsenal of legitimate concerns about tainted jurors. Yes, there have been those who contend the events of April 15, 2013 did not affect them and that they could be impartial in both weighing Tsarnaev’s guilt and, if guilty, whether he should get life in prison or the death penalty, but those people are few and far between. The vast majority say they are certain of his guilt, cannot change their minds, cannot vote for the death penalty, have been personally affected by the marathon bombing or its aftermath or have some “six degrees of separation” connection to the events of that day. Of the jurors I’ve heard over 5 days, there were 10 or fewer I would consider having on my jury – regardless of which side I represented. And even of them, I have my doubts they could really be impartial.

The betting is that the First District Court will side with Judge O’Toole and the prosecution and deny the request. It’s a bet I’m not taking.