CRIME

Searching for 'death-qualified' jurors slows marathon bombing, movie theater shooting trials

  • FILE - In this June 4, 2013 file photo, Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes sits in court in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in the suburban Denver movie theater in 2012, and faces a possible death penalty sentence if convicted. The process of finding “death qualified” jurors slowed down jury selection. In Holmes' case, an unprecedented 9,000 jury summonses were mailed, and as of Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, 210 prospective jurors had been excused over four days. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross, Pool, File)

    FILE - In this June 4, 2013 file photo, Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes sits in court in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in the suburban Denver movie theater in 2012, and faces a possible death penalty sentence if convicted. The process of finding “death qualified” jurors slowed down jury selection. In Holmes' case, an unprecedented 9,000 jury summonses were mailed, and as of Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, 210 prospective jurors had been excused over four days. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This file photo released Friday, April 19, 2013 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, charged with carrying out the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. Tsarnaev faces a possible death penalty sentence if convicted in his federal court trial in Boston. The process of finding “death qualified” jurors slowed down jury selection. In the Tsarnaev case, 1,373 people filled out juror questionnaires and individual questioning of prospective jurors has been slowed as the judge has probed people at length about their feelings on the death penalty.  (AP Photo/Federal Bureau of Investigation, File)

    FILE - This file photo released Friday, April 19, 2013 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, charged with carrying out the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. Tsarnaev faces a possible death penalty sentence if convicted in his federal court trial in Boston. The process of finding “death qualified” jurors slowed down jury selection. In the Tsarnaev case, 1,373 people filled out juror questionnaires and individual questioning of prospective jurors has been slowed as the judge has probed people at length about their feelings on the death penalty. (AP Photo/Federal Bureau of Investigation, File)  (The Associated Press)

Jury selection for the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) is moving more slowly than expected as a judge probes prospective jurors on their feelings about the death penalty.

Jurors in capital cases must be willing to consider both death and life in prison. If they say they are unable to impose the death penalty or unable to consider life, they are excused from serving.

Death penalty opponents see the process as unfair. They say so-called "death-qualified" juries do not represent a true cross-section of the community.

Death penalty opponents also tend to be more willing to consider an insanity defense. That will come in to play in the trial of James Holmes, who is charged in the deadly 2012 shooting at a Colorado movie theater.