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As jury selection starts, questions remain in Blankenship case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. —

AP file photo from The Charleston Gazette Don Blankenship testifies before the U.S. Senate Health and Human Services subcommittee hearing on mine safety, on May 20, 2010.
AP file photo from The Charleston Gazette
Don Blankenship testifies before the U.S. Senate Health and Human Services subcommittee hearing on mine safety, on May 20, 2010.

With jury selection set to begin this morning in the criminal trial of former Massey Energy Co. CEO Don Blankenship, there was a flurry of new motions Wednesday and significant questions remained about the jury selection process itself and about the contours of the cases prosecutors and defense lawyers will be allowed to present once testimony begins.

Both sides are scheduled to appear starting at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Irene Berger at the Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse in Charleston to start picking jurors.

Berger has yet to announce the complete procedure she plans to use for selecting jurors and hasn’t ruled on a motion by Blankenship’s defense lawyers to have all questioning of potential jurors happen behind closed doors.

Also still pending are a series of complex motions from prosecutors and defense lawyers seeking to limit the types of evidence the other side can provide.

The judge also has not yet ruled on Blankenship’s latest motion seeking to have the trial moved from Southern West Virginia

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