Can a person be prosecuted in any district other than the district in which the original indictment was filed? Does this require some sort of special procedure?

  • The trial of the Oklahoma City terrorist Timothy McVeigh was famously transferred from Oklahoma to Colorado at the request of the defense. If ever there was a case where, in the district where the crime took place, the public felt intensely emotional about the matter, this was it. But I don't think it can be done without the defendant's consent. Jun 14, 2020 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


Rule 20

Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 20 allows criminal cases to transfer from one district to another for the "limited purposes of acceptance of guilty or nolo contendere pleas and sentencing."

Rule 21

Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 21 allows a defendant to make a motion to transfer the criminal case to another district for the trial if "(a) the atmosphere is so prejudicial the defendant cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial within the district in which the action is brought or (b) for the convenience of the parties and witnesses, if in the interest of justice."

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