BOSTON – Jury summonses have been flying, police have been deploying and the news media has been scrambling like seldom before as two highly anticipated criminal trials get underway almost simultaneously in Massachusetts.
Jury selection in the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev began Jan. 5. Four days later, jury selection in the murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez began.
Both trials are expected to be lengthy, high-profile affairs. Intense media coverage has prompted judges in both cases to call in unusually large numbers of prospective jurors: more than 1,350 in the Tsarnaev trial and between 1,100 and 1,200 in the Hernandez trial.
Tsarnaev's trial is expected to last three to four months, while the Hernandez trial is predicted to last six to 10 weeks.