(Austin Statesman) Four potential jurors were dismissed Wednesday afternoon, leaving 10 high-ranking officers on the jury panel. At least 13 need to be selected for the court-martial. Another six potential jurors will be summoned on Monday, when jury selection resumes.
Regardless of when the panel is selected, open statements won’t begin until Aug. 6.
Earlier: Jury selection in the court-martial of Maj. Nidal Hasan is proceeding far faster Wednesday than a military judge or prosecutors foresaw, as attorneys individually questioned nine officers before breaking for lunch. Initially, judge Col. Tara Osborn had predicted about six officers per day would be questioned. If jury selection continues at its quick pace, it would be finished far earlier than the three to four weeks originally predicted.
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The reason for the rapid pace appears to be Hasan: the Army psychiatrist, who is defending himself, had originally submitted more than 100 questions to ask potential jurors. But on Wednesday he asked just a handful of questions of the potential jurors, focusing on their thoughts about Islam. Hasan also told the judge he would not be assisted by a previously approved jury selection expert, which most likely is also speeding up the process.