Marathon bombing suspect's lawyers seek dismissal

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Boston Marathon bombings -- impact, aftermath, suspects and victims
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Marathon bombing suspect's lawyers seek dismissal
BOSTON - APRIL 15: Police officers with their guns drawn hear the second explosion down the street. The first explosion knocked down 78-year-old US marathon runner Bill Iffrig at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Suspects wanted for questioning in relation to the Boston Marathon bombing April 15, later identified as Dzhokhar (L) and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, are seen in handout photo released through the FBI website, April 18, 2013. REUTERS/FBI/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
BOSTON - APRIL 15: Two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: (EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS IMAGE CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT) Destruction and injured people at the site of the one of the explosions that went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. Barricades hindered the EMS from getting to the injured. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, suspect #2 in the Boston Marathon explosion is pictured in this undated FBI handout photo. Police on April 19, 2013 killed one suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing during a shootout and mounted a house-to-house search for a second man in the suburb of Watertown, Massachusetts. REUTERS/FBI/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER CRIME LAW TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
ALLSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Tamerlan Tsarnaev during his practice at the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts on April 14, 2009 near Boston, Massachusetts. Three spectators were killed and more than two hundred sixty injured when two bombs exploded on Marathon Monday, which prompted a massive manhunt for suspects later identified as Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, two brothers from Chechnya, living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during the shootout, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found later the same day hiding in a boat nearby. (Photo by Thomas Brown/Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: A second explosion goes off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
A man identified by authorities as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, is seen in this undated still image taken from surveillance video made available by the Boston Regional Intelligence Center. REUTERS/BRIC/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Runner John Ounao crying when he finds friends after several explosions rocked the finish of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 15, 2013. At least two people were killed and 22 wounded when two explosions struck near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, sparking scenes of panic, police said. The streets were littered with debris and blood and paramedics raced off with stretchers as police locked down the area, witness said. TV footage showed an explosion sending up a white plume of smoke along the sidelines of the race. AFP PHOTO/John MOTTERN (Photo credit should read JOHN MOTTERN/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: Two officials run away from the first explosion, right, on Boylston Street at the 177th Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
First responders load injured people into an ambulance where two explosions occurred along the final stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, April 15, 2013. Two powerful explosions rocked the finish line area of the Boston Marathon near Copley Square and police said many people were injured. Photographer: Kelvin Ma/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Runners and spectators flee from the scene where two explosions occurred along the final stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, April 15, 2013. Two powerful explosions rocked the finish line area of the Boston Marathon near Copley Square and police said many people were injured. Photographer: Kelvin Ma/Bloomberg via Getty Images
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A runner reacts near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: Boston Police struggle to remove barricades to reach victims of the first explosion that went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon,. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: A person who was injured in the first explosion is wheeled across the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
A man looks out of his window in Cambridge, Massachusetts April 19, 2013. Police killed one suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, Tamerlan Tsarneav, in a shootout and mounted house-to-house searches for the second man, his brother Dzhokar Tsarnaev, on Friday, with much of the city under virtual lockdown after a bloody night of shooting and explosions in the streets. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: (EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS IMAGE CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT) A person who was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon is taken away from the scene on a stretcher. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A runner sits near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Trash is strewn on the street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon where several explosions rocked the event April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. At least two people were killed and 22 wounded when two explosions struck near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, sparking scenes of panic, police said. The streets were littered with debris and blood and paramedics raced off with stretchers as police locked down the area, witness said. TV footage showed an explosion sending up a white plume of smoke along the sidelines of the race. AFP PHOTO/John MOTTERN (Photo credit should read JOHN MOTTERN/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A swat team arrives at the corner of Stuart Street and Dartmouth Street after two explosive devices detonated at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 16: Newspapers are on sale at a stand on Newbury Street on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Security is especially tight in the city of Boston after two explosions went off near the finish of the Marathon, killing three people and injuring at least 141 others. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 02: Jonny Gomes #5 of the Boston Red Sox lays the World Series trophy and the 'Boston Strong 617' jersey onto the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street during the World Series victory parade on November 2, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON - MARCH 15: A bagpiper wears a Boston Strong jersey during the St. Patrick's Day Parade in the South Boston neighborhood on March 15, 2015. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
SWAT teams enter a suburban neighborhood to search an apartment for the remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown, Massachusetts April 19, 2013. Two Boston bomb suspects were named as brothers, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, a U.S. national security official said on Friday. The official said the older brother died in a shootout with police and the younger one was being sought in a house-to-house search for in the Boston suburb of Watertown. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW)
A member of the SWAT team trains a gun on an apartment building during a search for the remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown, Massachusetts April 19, 2013. Two Boston bomb suspects were named as brothers, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, a U.S. national security official said on Friday. The official said the older brother died in a shootout with police and the younger one was being sought in a house-to-house search for in the Boston suburb of Watertown. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW)
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By BOB SALSBERG

BOSTON (AP) - Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a judge on Friday to dismiss indictments against the Boston Marathon bombing suspect and put on hold further proceedings in the case over concerns about the process of selecting jurors in federal court.

Tsarnaev's attorneys said in a motion that a three-year review they conducted into the makeup of both grand juries and trial juries in the District of Massachusetts turned up "substantial violations" of both the federal jury selection law and a constitutional requirement that juries represent a fair cross section of the population.

Specifically, the lawyers cited an underrepresentation of African-Americans and people over 70 on juries.

Prosecutors say Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, set off the two bombs at the Boston Marathon's finish line last year, killing three people and injuring more than 260.

Rules used in the Massachusetts district to select jurors allow people over 70 to opt out of jury service, the attorneys wrote, violating the fair cross section requirement of the U.S. Constitution.

About 96 percent of people age 70 or older who were summoned for duty on the grand jury that indicted Tsarnaev opted out of service, the motion said, and a similar percentage of people over 70 opted out from all juries in the eastern division of the district between 2011-2013.

"Being over age 70, like race, sex and national origin, is an immutable characteristic - one cannot get younger - and exclusion on the basis of such a characteristic gives rise to the appearance of unfairness," the lawyers wrote in the 15-page motion.

The motion also cited a failure in many cases to mail replacement summons for jury service when original summons are returned as undeliverable by the post office. The court's rule requires the clerk to choose, at random, the name of another resident who lives in the same zip code as the one that came back as undeliverable.

In the case of the jury pool that was used to create the grand jury that indicted Tsarnaev, about 5 percent of summons came back as undeliverable, but no replacement summons were sent, the defense claimed.

Federal prosecutors had not yet responded to the motion and an after-hours message left with the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston was not immediately returned.

Defense attorneys asked for dismissal of the indictment and a halt to proceedings in the case pending what they called "reconstitution of the jury wheel."

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges and could face the death penalty if convicted. He is scheduled to go on trial Nov. 3, though his lawyers have said they will likely not be ready by that date.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a shootout with police days after the explosion.

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