Saturday, March 10, 2018

Lisa Moreno and Noor Salman.

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.

I did this sketch first thing in the morning as another day of jury selection got under way. I wanted to sketch Noor Salman, the widow of the Pulse Nightclub shooter, before the monotony of the process set in for another day. I heard from a reporter that Noor gave Lisa a fist bump at one point. I didn't witness this gesture, but the next day the monitor showing Noor had been redirected to point at the empty witness stand. I have to assume that her defense attorney didn't want the media watching Noor's every move. The fact that I can no longer sketch Noor makes it all the more important that I get in the courtroom before the trial is in full swing so that I can at least draw her as she leans over and talks to her lawyers.

Lisa Moreno is soft spoken and unaware that there are microphones she could be using. The microphones are usually pointing away from her. I admire her based on her accomplishments, however, I remember reading that she was an attorney with successful experiences in two high profile war-on-terror related cases, those of Professor Sami Al-Arian and Ghassan Elashi, who was a Guantanamo Bay defense lawyer with security clearance. Professor Sami Al-Arain was under house arrest limbo for five years. All the charges were dropped.

Lisa has been the only defense lawyer so far to sit in on the jury selection process. On multiple occasions she has questioned potential jurors and had then released with cause since their knowledge of the case or bias against Muslims might lead them to not be able to rule fairly in the 3 week case. The trial itself might start as early as Wednesday of next week.

I found out today that I cannot get into the main courtroom. The local media, without even trying to negotiate, gave the seat that I was originally promised to a birthday party caricature artist that low-balled the quote on the assignment. The primary concern for the local media seems to be cost rather than quality. Cartoons unfortunately feel quite inappropriate for a case of this magnitude. I feel a civic responsibility to cover this trial with the respect it deserves. I will continue to cover the trial but my sketches will be more about the media circus that will be unfolding in the downstairs courtroom 3A rather in the main courtroom 4B. I am disappointed but will make the best of the media drama and obscurity that continues to unfold.

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

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