The Framers and the Boston Bomber, Part 2

Americans didn't need English law to understand the complex relationship between local justice and impartial juries.

Local cops. Local courthouse. Local trial.

Photographer: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Yesterday I wrote a column about the change of venue requested by accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I argued that the Framers were concerned about keeping trials local to protect the accused. That much was correct. But I also offered a brief history of the rise of the change of venue in the U.S., tracing the modern doctrine to the English Central Criminal Court Act of 1856. That history was incomplete, and I now think I got the causality partly wrong.

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