[JURIST] Admitted al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] was unexpectedly allowed back into court Wednesday, despite a decision Tuesday by US District Judge Leonie Brinkema barring his presence Tuesday at ongoing jury selection proceedings for his sentencing trial [case docket]. Moussaoui was barred from the courtroom [JURIST report] after several disruptive outbursts over the course of jury selection proceedings, which began on February 6. Brinkema said Tuesday that she might consider allowing Moussaoui back in the courtroom if he agreed to alter his disruptive behavior, but Brinkema has offered no other explanation of her decision to allow Moussaoui to attend proceedings Wednesday.
The morning session of jury selection [JURIST report] went smoothly, with Moussaoui remaining mostly silent throughout the proceedings. Nine prospective members qualified for jury selection, and are expected to join the 85-member jury pool on March 6 when a twelve-member jury and six alternate jurors will be chosen to decide whether Moussaoui will receive the death penalty or life in prison for his role in the Sept. 11 terror attacks [JURIST news archive]. Moussaoui has admitted to being involved with al Qaeda but has said that he was not involved in the Sept. 11 attacks; the prosecution must prove that Moussaoui was directly involved in the attacks if he is to receive the death penalty. AP has more.