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Technology Opposed For Unabomber Trial Kaczynski Lawyers Seek To Bar Use Of Computers, Projectors

Sat., Aug. 23, 1997

Lawyers for the man charged with being the anti-technology Unabomber told a judge Friday they don’t want any electronics used during his trial.

Defense lawyers for Theodore Kaczynski asked U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. to bar the use of computers, projectors and other visual aids from his trial.

“We are concerned about turning this into a Simpsonesque trial, into a circus, into a media show,” said defense lawyer Judy Clarke. “We have serious and substantial objections” to the use of such equipment. She did not elaborate.

Prosecutors want to use the equipment in the presentation of their case. Burrell told both sides to present written arguments and scheduled an Oct. 3 hearing to consider the issue further.

Kaczynski, 55, is charged in five of the 16 bombings attributed to the Unabomber, the name given to the shadowy, computer-hating terrorist who attacked airplanes, academics and other technology-related targets between 1978 and 1995.

He faces a 10-count federal indictment in California in connection with four bombings, two of them fatal, and is charged separately in New Jersey in a third fatal bombing.

Kaczynski has pleaded innocent to all charges.

At Friday’s hearing, Burrell and the lawyers confirmed the intended starting date for the trial, Nov. 12.

Burrell also told both sides he was leaning toward an early screening process for jurors, beginning as early as Sept. 30.

Burrell said he was considering calling as many as 900 potential jurors, in three waves of 300 each. Jurors would be questioned individually by the judge, and then asked to respond to a written survey.

Among the issues jurors will be asked about is their ability to serve for the duration of the trial, expected to last from four to six months.

Defense lawyer Quin Denvir said he wanted to limit the number of potential jurors excused on a hardship basis.

“We don’t want a jury that is composed just of people who are retired or work for the government or for big corporations that will pay their salaries,” Denvir said. “You get a very skewed jury pool.”


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