Nichols jury selection nearing the end
October 28, 1997
Web posted at: 9:18 p.m. EST (0218 GMT)
DENVER (CNN) -- The jury pool in the Oklahoma City bombing
trial of Terry Nichols could be filled by Wednesday, and
opening statements could be given by Monday.
The pool of "death penalty qualified" potential jurors grew
to 67 by the end of Tuesday.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch is expected to
require 70 potential jurors for the pool before a final panel
of 12 jurors and six alternates can be selected.
Those 70 potential jurors could be gathered at the courthouse
Thursday for the final selection and then given Friday to get
their lives organized for a trial that could possibly last
Prosecutor Larry Mackey has said that Monday will likely be
the day for opening statements in the trial.
Seven potential jurors were interviewed Tuesday, but two were
quickly dismissed because of health and schedule problems.
A woman was dismissed after she told Matsch that she had been
injured in a car crash and suffered a back problem that would
not allow her to sit for long periods of time.
A second potential juror, an attorney who said he had a
criminal trial starting next week and several more cases
coming up in the next month, also was dismissed.
A retired high school chemistry teacher, the last prospective
juror questioned Tuesday, said he would "want two
eyewitnesses to the crime" before he voted to impose a death
penalty. He later said he could be convinced only on
Federal law requires that a juror be able to consider a death
sentence and remain open to the possibility of a life
One woman questioned Tuesday said she was not sure there was
enough evidence to convict Nichols' co-defendant, Timothy
McVeigh, of the bombing. She also said she doubted the death
penalty was effective because of the time it takes to be
Nichols is accused of murder and conspiracy in the April 19,
1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The
blast killed 168 people and injured hundreds more. McVeigh
was convicted in June on the same charges and was sentenced