Jury Selected in Detroit Terror Trial

The jury has been selected in the trial of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. There was an interesting twist, as after the jury was picked, the Judge dismissed juror #321, a woman from Nigeria. The judge didn't explain why she dismissed the juror, who is president of a Nigerian cultural association in Metro Detroit.

During jury selection Wednesday, the woman said she has lived in the United States since 1994 and has relatives in Nigeria. She did not know Abdulmutallab's family. The Nigerian woman also said if she rendered a guilty verdict, it would not create a problem back home but she did not want her identity revealed.

She was replaced Juror 277, a female retired Secretary of State supervisor. [More...]

Earlier this morning, the Judge dismissed a juror the defense had wanted, #271, a cattle and pig farmer and the only black male left in the jury pool. He had been late to court. But the prosecution struck him because he said, "I'm a mercy person...I'm not one to condemn anyone."

Opening arguments are October 11. The defense has said it may call one witness, lawyer Robert Haskell who was on the flight, who apparently has a conspiracy theory.

Haskell believes the bomb in Abdulmutallab's underwear was fake. He claims the young Nigerian was escorted onto the plane without a passport and has a strong entrapment defense. Haskell is an attorney in Taylor, a Detroit suburb.

Via @Detroitfedcourt, aka Reporter Robert Snell, who was in the courtroom: Among the exhibits the Government will introduce:

A photo of Abdulmutallab's underwear following the alleged bombing attempt, Abdulmutallab's martyrdom video, a map of Flight 253's flight path, video/audio convo between flight crew...photos of bomb remnants recovered from Flight 253 and picture of the plunger used in the bomb...

Who was struck this morning:

Gone: Juror 189: A black, female caregiver whose grandson was convicted of armed robbery. That leaves about five black women in pool

Juror 259, who just got tossed, is bipolar and recovering alcoholic. He goes to AA every day.

Gone: Juror 104, a black female clerk for U.S. Postal Service. Husband works for post office too, as a driver

How not to get on a jury:

Juror 214 had said if a person is brought to trial, that person is probably guilty.

Juror 117 (a recent law graduate) faced earlier questions about her eagerness to serve because she thought the experience would make her a better lawyer

To follow on Twitter, try #miterror. No one seems to have a good handle for him yet. Since he's representing himself, a stupid decision, how about #FLeeUnderpants?

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  • Display: Sort:
    Stupid question time: (none / 0) (#1)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 03:52:40 PM EST
    During the jury selection process, do trial attorneys try to screen in or out bloggers?

    More jury challenges for the defense (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 04:40:24 PM EST
    The judge granted extra challenges to the defense.

    Earlier Thursday, Edmunds granted a defense request to allow Abdulmutallab more challenges in the jury selection after concerns were raised that more potential jurors than anticipated believed he was guilty.

    Edmunds gave Abdulmutallab three more challenges for a total of 15. She gave prosecutors one more for a total of 10.