Attorneys for the man accused of murdering 11 Jews in the Tree of Life building four years ago will not be permitted to survey potential jurors regarding their religious affiliation, under an order U.S. District Judge Robert J. Colville handed down in response to a motion by the defense.
Defense attorneys filed their motion in August, seeking permission to conduct a one-question survey of potential jurors regarding their religion.
They argued that such a survey was necessary to ensure that Catholics and other religious groups that might be opposed to capital punishment not be improperly excluded.
As prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, the defendant’s attorneys argued that if those religious groups were not fairly represented on the jury, the defendant would be deprived of his right to a fair trial.
Prosecutors opposed the motion because the law does not require the collection of religious information about potential jurors.
The trial is set to commence with jury selection on April 24. PJC