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Moussaoui defense says potential jurors tainted by Sept. 11 links

[JURIST] As questioning of potential jurors winds down, defense lawyers for al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] have expressed concern about the possibility of a jury stacked with individuals connected to Sept. 11 victims. Moussaoui pleaded guilty [JURIST report] last year to conspiracy charges [indictment] in connection with the September 11 attacks, and a jury will now decide whether he should receive the death penalty. After six days of questioning, 83 potential jurors have qualified for the final jury pool. US District Judge Leonie Brinkema [official profile] will question the remaining 10 jurors Friday afternoon. During jury selection [JURIST report], Moussaoui's defense lawyers have frequently objected to potential jurors, saying they knew Sept. 11 victims, but the prosecution has countered that the sheer number of individuals connected to Sept. 11 makes it impossible to find someone who has not been affected.

Though Moussaoui has admitted to al Qaeda involvement, he has said that he was not involved with planning or executing the Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archive]. Opening arguments in the sentencing trial [case docket] are scheduled to begin March 6. AP has more.

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