Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Jury Selection for the Noor Salman Trial

 Any media inquiries to purchase courtroom sketches should call or text (407) four five zero-0807. I am out of touch while in the courthouse. I will get back in touch ASAP.

Jury selection began on Thursday, March 8th for the Noor Salman trial with 42 prospective jurors in the pool to start, the goal was to reach 56 jurors before starting the process of cutting that number down to 12 jurors with 6 alternates. The media overflow courtroom 3A is similar to courtroom 4B. It is just inverted with the jury box being on the opposite side of the room. It is not possible to sketch jurors, so I just sketched the reporters who sat in the jury box and at the lawyers' tables.

Juror 212 is an advocate for LGBT Rights and she felt she could not be impartial because of that. She was excused for cause. Juror 274 has a husband who is a contractor in Kuwait and Iraq. Because of things he told her, she feels that Middle Eastern women do not have equal rights. They have to wear birquas and not make eye contact. The judge assured her that Noor is a United States citizen born in America and asked if she could be impartial in this case. She said she could keep an open mind.

Juror 270 had a medical issue. She is recovering from Cancer which is now in remission. Though in recovery, she was excused for cause. Juror 277 was a student looking to go to law school. Judge Paul G. Byron congratulated him and wished him well with his choice of college. He answered all the questions with enthusiasm and remained in the pool. Juror 275 had a father who works for the Winter Park Police. He had read many news accounts about the Pulse Nightclub Massacre and felt he could not remain impartial. He was excused for cause. Juror 282 was recently divorced and concerned about having time for custody of his 14 year old daughter. He had read a lot about the shooting on multiple online news sites. He was excused for cause. Juror 278 was a caregiver for her mother. She said that Noor must have known something about what her husband was about to do when he left to kill 49 people. She was excused for cause. With so many people with dead set opinions and biases, it is amazing that any local residents get past the questioning and into the jury pool.

On the walls of the courtrooms were oil paintings of past judges. One was of Patricia Combi Fawsett by local painter Don Sontag, the other portrait was of G. Kendall Sharp. Historic decisions are made inside these walls and the traditional oil portraits are a reminder of the long traditions that are upheld. Reporters come and go, usually filing out mid-afternoon to get their report on the air. I have settled into the daily routine at court and know that I am meant to be here to document this moment in Orlando history. On Wednesday, March 14th the trial officially begins with a full jury.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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