Salman has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. If convicted, she could face life in prison.
Selecting a fair jury
Defense attorneys and prosecutors are considering prospective jurors from a pool of 600 people. Jury selection is expected to take between seven and 10 days.
Putting together a completely impartial jury will be a difficult task, especially because the trial is being held in downtown Orlando, about two miles from where the massacre took place.
Two of the four prospective jurors questioned on Thursday morning before a lunch break progressed to the final jury pool.
Two were dismissed — a mother on maternity leave who lives two blocks from the Pulse Nightclub, and a man who grew up near Pulse and said his professional responsibilities would make it difficult to give his full attention to the trial, which the judge and prosecutors have estimated could take four to five weeks.
Byron also asked about jurors’ media exposure of the event prior to the trial, and how they felt about lawful gun owners.
Orlando attorney and former CNN legal analyst Mark O’Mara says there are several other factors that will also make the jury selection challenging.
“It is going to be amazingly difficult to seat a jury in this case because not only do the potential jurors live in central Florida, but we have had an enormous backlash against terrorist acts in the past 17 years since 2001, and this case, like the Boston Marathon case, will be felt as an opportunity to right those wrongs,” O’Mara said.
“The defense has to acknowledge that everybody sitting on that jury is going to feel that. And they have to do their best to bring all of that out to the forefront,” he added.
What to expect during the trial
To sustain one of Salman’s charges, prosecutors would need to prove that Mateen carried out the massacre and that he did it in support of ISIS.
The courtroom will be open to survivors, victims’ families and members of the public, but no cameras will be allowed.
Who is Noor Salman?
Salman is the only person charged in connection with the mass shooting in Orlando. Her husband died in a shootout with police responding to the attack at the nightclub.