Forty-two prospective jurors who said they could be fair and impartial toward bombing conspirator Terry Nichols were asked Thursday whether they could also sentence him to death if he’s convicted.
“Each one of you have told me you can give Mr. Nichols a fair trial,” Judge Steven Taylor reminded the panel. The jurors nodded to the judge.
In the latest round of questioning, the panel was asked if they could sentence Nichols to death by injection if he’s convicted of 161 counts of first-degree murder.
Taylor, prosecutors and defense attorneys are working to select 12 jurors and six alternates. Jury selection began Monday, and at least one more round of questioning awaits this group.
Nichols is already serving a life sentence on federal convictions for the deaths of eight federal law enforcement officers in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which killed 168 people. The state charges are for the other 160 victims and one victim’s unborn fetus.
42 from 90
The panel of 42 prospective jurors was culled from 90 people who were questioned about how much they knew about the case and whether they had formed an opinion on the state charges.
A total of 63 potential jurors have been questioned. Jury selection began Monday and was expected to take two weeks. The trial could take more than three months.
Prosecutors say Nichols helped co-conspirator Timothy McVeigh acquire components for the fertilizer-and-fuel-oil bomb, helped McVeigh build the explosive device and robbed an Arkansas firearms dealer to finance the attack.
McVeigh was convicted on federal murder charges and executed in 2001.