Mea Culpa: This happens sometimes. The post below was wrong as originally drafted, as pointed out by a reader, because it is court officials, not the Justice Department, who want to move the trial. Gulp.
The Justice Department Federal court officials want to move the trial of Jared Loughner from Tucson to San Diego because Loughner cannot get a fair trial due to pretrial publicity and the sensitivity of the case in Arizona, as reported by The Washington Post:
Federal authorities are planning to move the trial of the alleged gunman in the Jan. 8 mass shooting in Tucson to San Diego because of extensive pretrial publicity in Arizona, federal law enforcement sources said Sunday night.
Jared Lee Loughner, 22, is charged in federal court in Arizona, but court officials plan to move the case out of the state within several weeks, the sources said. They cited publicity and the sensitivity of the case in Arizona, where one of those fatally shot was John M. Roll, the state’s chief federal judge.
Which leads to the obvious question:
If the murder of several people in a high profile case requires that the trial of Jared Loughner be moved out of the State of Arizona, how is it that the Justice Department insisted for so long that the trial of Kalid Sheikh Mohammed take place in the shadow of the former World Trade Center? For the sake of intellectual consistency, shouldn’t Eric Holder be trying to prove that our justice system can handle a high-profile, politicized trial of a mass murderer in Tucson where the crime took place?