A prospective juror who claimed to know nothing about the Unabomber case sat with her mouth agape as she heard the charges against Theodore Kaczynski, then stared at him and gasped, “Did you do that?”
Kaczynski sat still, staring at the woman but showing no reaction.
The woman had just been asked by Kaczynski’s lawyer, Judy Clarke, how she would feel about imposing the death penalty on a person who mailed bombs with the intent of killing the recipients.
The woman then turned to Clarke and repeated her inquiry, saying: “Is that what he’s done?”
The unusually combative jury candidate repeatedly asked the lawyers for explanations, rather than giving answers. She was allowed to remain on the tentative jury panel despite her declaration that “I don’t want to be on this case.”
“I don’t know anything about it. I don’t want to know anything about it,” she said.
The woman said she purposely insulates herself from all news.
“I don’t want the knowledge, the garbage,” she said. “It’s garbage coming through the television.”
Kaczynski, 55, a former math professor turned Montana hermit, is alleged to have spent nearly 18 years in the wilderness constructing explosive devices and sending them through the mail to protest the dominance of technology in modern society. He is charged in the deaths of two Sacramento men and the wounding of two San Francisco Bay-area academics.
Kaczynski was identified as the most likely suspect by his brother, David, who has since come into conflict with the government over Attorney General Janet Reno’s decision to seek the death penalty if Kaczynski is convicted.
David Kaczynski has said he was assured that his brother would be treated as a mentally ill person and was dismayed to learn that prosecutors were trying to prove him sane and wanted to execute him.
David Kaczynski’s lawyer said Monday his client has left his home in upstate New York and is driving to Sacramento to save his brother.
The question of Kaczynski’s mental state remains a thorny legal question. The defendant has refused to allow government psychiatrists to examine him.