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Kansas bomb court case: Defense attorneys seek Trump voters for jury and for a provocative reason

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Since announcing his candidacy for president, Donald Trump has come to permeate every aspect of American life, to now include things as mundane as jury selection.

With the media having so effectively caricatured supporters of President Trump, attorneys for three men accused of plotting to bomb a mosque and apartment complex housing Somali refugees prefer a jury full of people who most likely supported Trump, and favor a crackdown on illegal immigration and Trump’s controversial travel ban.

Feb, 3, 2017 photograph show the apartment complex targeted in Garden City, Kan. Prosecutors allege Stein and others plotted to detonate truck bombs the day after the election at an apartment complex where 120 Somali immigrants live in western Kansas. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

According to the Associated Press, the attorneys urged a federal judge on Wednesday to include prospective jurors from rural western Kansas, as opposed to urban counties closest to the federal courthouse in Wichita, because they are more likely to have voted for President Donald Trump.

The government countered that the request would “wreak havoc,” if granted, arguing that the defense is looking to pick a jury pool based on ideology, which is “opening a dangerous door” to similar requests in other cases, the AP reported.

Isn’t that the blueprint for picking a jury, picking those considered more favorable to the case you represent? But is it a fair assessment to think a Trump voter would hold an unfavorable view of Muslims?

The lawyers represent three men charged with planning to detonate truck bombs in the meatpacking town of Garden City the day after the November 2016 election, with one of them saying he hoped the attack on the Somalis would “wake people up” and inspire other attacks on Muslims, the news agency reported.

The defense contends that jurors will have to decide whether the alleged actions are criminal or constitutionally protected free speech and assembly and the right to bear arms.

Tom Tillison

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