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Nichols jury selection enters third week

Nichols October 13, 1997
Web posted at: 10:50 p.m. EDT (0250 GMT)

DENVER (CNN) -- Jury selection in the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Terry Nichols entered its third week Monday with the questioning of six potential candidates.

All of them said they could impose the death penalty, a requirement to serve, and none were eliminated from the prospective jury pool

So far, 26 of the first 60 prospective jurors have qualified for the pool from which the jury will be selected. A pool of 64 is needed before the trial can begin.

Nichols sat attentive and upright during Monday's proceedings, occasionally looking over the courtroom without expression.

His mother, Joyce Wilt, sat on the front row and took extensive notes as attorneys questioned potential jurors.

Wilt, who visited her son during the weekend, said he was doing "fine" and that he "reads a lot" about the trial to pass the time.


Nichols, 42, is charged with murder and conspiracy in the April 19, 1995, bombing that killed 168 people and injured hundreds of others, the largest act of terrorism on U.S. soil.

The last woman questioned Monday was scheduled to return Tuesday for more questioning.

One potential juror, a grandmother who consults with contractors and designs software, said capital punishment is sometimes necessary.

"I believe in the death penalty," she said, "but I want to be convinced that person is guilty."

Another woman, a retired nurse, said she believed bombing co-defendant Timothy McVeigh received a fair sentence. McVeigh was convicted in June and sentenced to death for the bombing.

Nichols' lead attorney, Michael Tigar, commenting on the pace of jury selection at the end of Monday's court session, said: "As you know, this is Columbus Day. And so, like Columbus, we have a reliable system of navigation. We are sailing in a craft in which we have confidence."

"The question is whether we'll know where we are when we get there," he said.

Correspondent Susan Candiotti contributed to this report


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