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Kansas court opens jury selection to media

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The Kansas judge who will preside over the murder trial of the man charged with killing a prominent abortion doctor…

The Kansas judge who will preside over the murder trial of the man charged with killing a prominent abortion doctor agreed today to open jury selection to the media after the Kansas Supreme Court urged him to reconsider his decision to ban reporters, according to reports by The Associated Press and The Wichita Eagle.

Judge Warren Wilbert said last week he would not allow reporters to be present during jury selection in the trial of Scott Roeder because it would have a "chilling effect" on jurors' ability to openly discuss their beliefs about abortion and religion. Though Wilbert reversed course today and agreed to release portions of the jury questionnaire and open the selection proceedings, he closed the hearing on whether to do so over the objections of the media organizations — The Associated Press, The Wichita Eagle, the Kansas City Star and KWCH-12 — that had appealed his earlier refusal.

Jury selection in the trial to determine whether Roeder killed Dr. George Tiller was scheduled to begin today.