A change of venue is likely in the case of Jared Loughner, who faces multiple charges in the shooting of 19 people - six fatally - at a Jan. 8 Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' event.
Robert Weisberg, a Stanford University criminal law professor, told the Los Angeles Times that logic dictates that the case be moved.
"There's so much local volatility about this case, and there isn't a good argument against moving it to California," he said.
Finding an impartial jury pool is difficult enough, but if Loughner is convicted, it could be overturned if a judge finds that public opinion convicted him.
The Times reports:
Ingrid V. Eagly, who teaches evidence and criminal defense at UCLA School of Law, said "the judge would be engaging in a fact-based analysis, looking at all the different factors in finding a jurisdiction, the No. 1 being where can the defendant obtain a fair and impartial trial."
Defense lawyers can get convictions overturned on appeal if they can show that publicity surrounding their clients' crimes was so inflammatory that jurors were prejudiced. But the Supreme Court ruled in June that intense media coverage of the Enron Corp. scandal didn't automatically bias the Houston jury that convicted former Enron Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling. That decision has likely encouraged prosecutors to try to keep the Loughner case in Tucson, said Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor now teaching criminal law at Loyola Law School.
"The bar is fairly high to obtain a change of venue or claim prejudice [on appeal] if there hasn't been a change of venue," Levenson said. "That said, this is a pretty extreme case, and I wouldn't be surprised if the trial is moved."
The Washington Post, quoting anonymous federal law enforcement sources, reported that while the final decision has not been made, "It's going to happen. It's just a matter of time."
But it won't happen without a fight.
"The Department plans to bring the case in Arizona and will oppose any change in venue motions," said Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller .
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:37 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:37:02 GMT
WNEM has received word that a teenager is dead and two adults have been injured and taken to the hospital after being caught during the storm while boating on the Saginaw Bay. The teenager, a 14-year-oldMore >
WNEM has received word that a teenager is dead and two adults have been injured and taken to the hospital after being caught while boating during the storm.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:26 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:26:49 GMT
The Midland County Sheriff's Office is investigating a two vehicle crash that claimed the life of a Gladwin County woman, severely injured her husband and resulted in minor injuries to a 16-year-old femaleMore >
The Midland County Sheriff's Office is investigating a two vehicle crash that claimed the life of a Gladwin County woman, severely injured her husband and resulted in minor injuries to a 16-year-old female driver.More >
WNEM has received word that 83 positions at St. Mary's of Michigan will be cut along with a number of open positions are not currently filled. The medical provider is looking for ways to be more effectiveMore >
WNEM has received word that 83 positions at St. Mary's of Michigan will be cut along with a number of open positions that are not currently filled.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:59:19 GMT
LYNCHBURG, VA (RNN) – Kimberly Burke is used to capturing emotion. As a wedding photographer, she has an eye for tender moments, like the photo she snapped of a Marine and his bride praying that has goneMore >
A quiet moment captured before a couple wed has brought collective "awws" by millions on the internet.More >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information on obituaries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends in Mid-Michigan. Death notices are displayed during theMore >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends who have lost loved ones.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:47 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:47:53 GMT
Police have released the identity of the woman killed in Saginaw's latest homicide on Sunday. Denise Price, 43, was killed near the intersection of S. 5th and Burt streets, becoming the city's 18th homicideMore >
Police have released the identity of the woman killed in Saginaw's latest homicide Sunday.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-06-17 22:21:19 GMT
Golf ball-sized hail and downed trees are being reported in Saginaw County after a severe thunderstorm moved through Monday afternoon. Midland County was also hit by the storms that eventually triggeredMore >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:47 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:47:39 GMT
A group of homeowners in Clackamas County is banding together to send crooks a strong message about an increase in crime in their neighborhood. They're starting to post signs that read, "Glock block. WeMore >
Homeowners in the Milwaukie area are posting signs in their neighborhood that say: "Glock block. We don't call 9-1-1."More >