Kaczynski confident during jury selection

  Martin Kasindorf; Jonathan T. Lovitt


  USA Today


  Page 05A

  (Copyright 1997)


  SACRAMENTO -- Self-assured and neatly barbered, Unabomber suspect

  Theodore Kaczynski took an active role in his defense Wednesday at the opening

  of his federal trial.


  Kaczynski, wearing a gray checked sports jacket, a tieless white shirt and

  charcoal slacks, strode confidently into court and nodded to spectators. Through

  initial questioning of prospective jurors, he jotted notes and exchanged whispered

  opinions with his three lawyers and the defense's Atlanta-based jury consultant,

  Denise de La Rue.


  Federal Public Defender Quin Denvir says his noise-hating client complains of

  "sleep deprivation" at the Sacramento County Jail. But Kaczynski was alert,

  smiling at humorous sallies between jury candidates and U.S. District Judge

  Garland Burrell.


  Attorneys say they'll need four weeks to select the jury. A 10-count indictment

  named Kaczynski, 55, as the bomb-maker who killed two men in Sacramento

  and injured two university professors with devices mailed from here. He could

  face the death penalty if convicted.


  The government seeks to strengthen its case with evidence tying the thin,

  gray-bearded defendant to another murder and 21 more injuries during the

  Unabomber's 18-year campaign.


  Defense medical experts consider Kaczynski a paranoid schizophrenic who

  should not be held legally responsible for crimes.


  In papers filed Wednesday, defense witness David Foster, a psychiatrist, said

  Kaczyinski believes he is "controlled by an omnipotent organization against

  which he is powerless." Foster said he examined Kaczynski five times, for up to

  three hours each time, before Kaczynski stopped the meetings.


  Prosecutors say Kaczynski is an anti-technology extremist who wrote in his

  journals that his motive was to kill "someone I hate."


  Heavy security in the courthouse here reflected the gravity of the charges.

  Courtroom spectators had to pass through two metal detectors.


  Kaczynski, a former assistant professor of mathematics at the University of

  California-Berkeley, had no relatives present. His brother, David Kaczynski, 47,

  and his mother, Wanda Kaczynski, 80, are expected to testify later for the

  defense. David Kaczynski identified his brother to the FBI as a possible

  Unabomber suspect.


  In federal trials, the judge usually conducts the examination of prospective

  jurors. Burrell, however, allowed prosecution and defense lawyers to ask



  The attorneys focused on the attitudes toward capital punishment. A woman was

  excused after saying she could never vote to impose a death sentence. Defense

  co-counsel Judy Clarke successfully challenged one decidedly pro-prosecution

  man for cause because he'd driven past the scene of a 1995 Unabomber attack

  soon after the explosion.