Kaczynski confident during jury selection
Martin Kasindorf; Jonathan T. Lovitt
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
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
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.