More potential jurors quizzed in Nichols trial
October 15, 1997
Web posted at: 11:08 p.m. EDT (0308 GMT)
DENVER (CNN) -- A woman who is four months pregnant assured
the judge in the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Terry Nichols
that she could serve as a juror despite her condition.
She was one of a group of potential jurors interviewed
Wednesday, bringing the total number of people questioned to
71 as the third week of jury selection continued.
Also among those queried Wednesday was a retired engineer who
said he could impose the death penalty or a life in prison
sentence, depending on the circumstances. That is the type of
response federal law requires for a potential juror to be
kept in the jury pool, from which 12 jurors and six
alternates will be chosen.
When the court session ended, questioning of the 71st juror
was under way. She is one of the few African-American women
interviewed so far.
A L S O :
Detailed map of Denver
Detailed map of Oklahoma City
She said she had no strong opinions on the death penalty, and
she insisted that she could be fair about deciding
Another woman, from Buena Vista, Colorado, said that if the
accused bomber is found guilty, he should be sentenced to
"If he is guilty on all counts, then he should be put to
death," she told U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch and
attorneys for both sides.
A 64-year-old man who earlier in the day said he could never
impose the death penalty, which would have disqualified him
from the jury pool, finally conceded that he could take
another person's life in defense of his country.
"I just believe that no one should take anybody's life other
than God," he said.
But lead defense lawyer Michael Tigar, who would likely want
to have such a person on the jury, was able to get the man, a
Korean War veteran, to agree that it would be moral to take
the life of someone who threatened the United States.
"I would definitely want to defend my country if they were at
my shores," he said.
Another prospective juror, a woman, had served twice on
juries -- once in an illegal entry trial and once in a
When asked if she knew anyone involved in the Nichols trial,
the woman said she knew Matsch's brother, to which the judge
replied, "He's bigger and better looking."
She also said that while in college her roommate was the
judge's niece, but she said it would have no impact on her
ability to be impartial.
Friday afternoon, lawyers and the judge will discuss which of
those interviewed this week are qualified to remain in the
Nichols, 42, is charged with murder and conspiracy in the
April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal
Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people and injured
hundreds of others, the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil.
Nichols' co-defendant, Timothy McVeigh, 29, was convicted of
the same charges in June. He was given a death sentence,
which he is now appealing.