Eric Rudolph will be tried in Birmingham, with jurors from throughout north Alabama, not just a three-county area, says the Birmingham News. U.S. District Judge C. Lynwood Smith Jr. yesterday approved an defense-prosecution agreement to select a jury pool from 31 counties after Rudolph gave up his challenge to have the case moved elsewhere. Rudolph, 37, is accused of the Jan. 29, 1998, bombing at an abortion clinic that killed off-duty Birmingham police officer Robert Sanderson, who was working as a security guard, and injured nurse Emily Lyons. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
U.S. Attorney Alice Martin said the prosecution is pleased to have the case tried in Birmingham. “I think it’s important for the community, the victims and their families,” she said. Kirk Elifson, a Georgia sociology professor who studied print and television coverage of the case, said Rudolph’s coverage was pervasive, but did not rise to the level to warrant a move. The trial is set to begin Aug. 2, but the defense will request a delay.