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Jurors Questioned About Islam, Terrorism And News As Noor Salman Trial Continues

United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Photo: WMFE / Brendan Byrne
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Photo: WMFE / Brendan Byrne

Jury selection in the Noor Salman trial wrapped up a third day Monday and the focus was mainly on how media coverage of the Pulse shooting affected potential jurors.

There are now 22 potential jurors in the case of Noor Salman. After three days of jury selection, U.S. District Judge Paul Byron is closer to his goal of having about 50 or 60 potential jurors that will eventually make up the 18-person seated jury.

Salman is being charged with aiding and abetting her husband Omar Matten in the Pulse shooting and obstruction of justice. Salman denies any involvement in the Pulse attack.

The jury pool includes a paralegal, a recent UCF graduate who now works in healthcare, a defense contractor from Brevard and an immigrant from Nicaragua who received her citizenship in 2010.

The judge asked the potential jurors if they heard anything about Salman in the news or on TV, if they were affected by terrorist attacks like 9/11, their thoughts on shooting at gun ranges and if they thought they could be impartial during the trial.

Some jurors were excused after the questioning, including a college student who worried he would fail if he miss school for the trial. Another woman told the judge she works three jobs and balancing work and focusing on the trial would be difficult. One potential juror who was excused said "it's hard to believe [Salman] didn't know" what her husband was planning.

Jury selection is expected to wrap up this week with the trial beginning early next week. Judge Paul Byron says the trial will last about 3 weeks.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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