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Will Waiting Unabomber Jurors Be Tainted By News Reports?

Mon., Jan. 19, 1998

While the world has watched the Unabomber trial unravel, jurors chosen a month ago and told to insulate themselves from the news media were left to wait and wonder what’s going on.

Is it possible that they know nothing about Theodore Kaczynski’s suicide try, and his efforts to fire his lawyers? If they do know, can they remain as jurors?

These questions are among the panoply of issues facing U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell when he resumes proceedings in the case this week.

“They’re not isolated. I’m sure they know about his suicide attempt and that he’s being evaluated by a psychiatrist,” said noted jury consultant JoEllan Dimitrius. “Both sides may be hard-pressed not to ask the judge to reopen (jury questioning) just for the limited purpose of exploring these two things.”

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