Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Clowns and Acrobats: The Trial of Zacarias Moussaoui

Matthew Davis of the BBC reports from the circus. The title of his article is beyond satire:

Hunt for jury neutral on 9/11 plot

...Trial judge Leonie Brinkema is going to great lengths to find a group of Americans - 12 jurors and six alternates - who can set aside what they know, or think they know, about the case. The main tool in this search is a 50-page, 159-question paper which probes jurors' backgrounds, as well as their religious beliefs, feelings about Arabs and Muslims and their reaction to the 9/11 attacks.

The depth and range of the questions speaks to [sic] the huge impact that the terror strikes have had on the lives of Americans. They include:

- Whether jurors read, speak or understand Arabic, watch Arabic television or read Arabic newspapers, or have contact with Muslims

- If, since 9/11, any of their family members or close friends have been killed in combat in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere in the Middle East

- What opinions they hold about the performance of the FBI at Waco, after 9/11 and on other controversial investigations

- Whether they were in Washington or New York on 9/11, and what impact the attacks had on their lives.

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