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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

McVeigh Jurors Screened

DENVER -- It has been nearly two years since the Oklahoma City bombing and now the task is to find jurors who will decide the innocence or guilt of suspect Timothy McVeigh -- and perhaps whether he will die.


Lawyers were to begin choosing 12 jurors and six alternates Monday from the same jury pool the defense team labeled as "poisoned'' by media reports of McVeigh's purported confessions.


Defense lawyer Stephen Jones lost an attempt to delay the trial when the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday rejected his claim that potential jurors were irreparably tainted by the recent stories by The Dallas Morning News and Playboy magazine.


McVeigh faces the death penalty if convicted of murder and conspiracy in the April 19, 1995, bombing of a federal building that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more. Co-defendant Terry Nichols will be tried separately, after McVeigh.


A hidden, remote closed-circuit camera has been placed in U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch's newly renovated second-floor courtroom so survivors and relatives of bombing victims can watch the trial in Oklahoma City.


Prosecutors intend to show evidence that after the war McVeigh embraced a culture of hate, racism and anti-government fervor.


Lead prosecutor Joseph Hartzler also intends to link McVeigh to bomb-making materials and a yellow rental truck used in the explosion.


Led by Jones, the defense will likely assault the character of the prosecution's key witness, Michael Fortier. In a plea arrangement, Fortier will testify his former friend McVeigh was at the center of the bomb plot.


Jones may also depict McVeigh as the victim of a complicated conspiracy involving Iraq, the Irish Republican Army and American white supremacists. The prosecution has belittled that theory.