Noor Salman, widow of shooter Omar Mateen has finally seen her trial begin. The problem they were having was in jury selection. It is hard to find people with limited knowledge of the case or people that do not have deep feelings about the case.
Potential jurors had to fill out a long list of questions and then they were asked by the judge if they knew anyone connected to the case and then they were quizzed by the attorney and the prosecutors. Salman has been charged with helping her husband case various locations when he was deciding where to hit.
Salman’s attorneys will argue that she was an abused wife and had to go along with her husband. She has also been charged with lying to investigators.
The judge said the trial could last five weeks or more once the twelve jurors are chosen — a process that itself will likely take up to two weeks. He asked the potential jurors about whether they can be impartial in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, and also asked if they believe the war on terror targets Muslims. Potential jurors were also asked if they know survivors or victims of a terrorist attack.
Salman, 31, is charged with aiding and abetting her husband, Omar Mateen, in planning the June 16, 2016 attack. She’s also been charged with obstruction of justice and faces life in prison if convicted. She has pleaded not guilty.
A man outside the courthouse was holding a sign that said ‘FRY’ HER TILL SHE HAS NO ‘PULSE’. Other than that there appeared to be no demonstrations. Some of the families of the victims did attend the trial but mostly kept to themselves.
Barbara Poma, the owner of the Pulse nightclub, refused to comment. She was accompanied by the mother of one of the victims.
The area around the former nightclub is going to be an interim memorial for the victims of the attack.