John Salvi's double murder trial begins Febuary 5, 1996. The trial is expected to take four to six weeks, including jury selection. If convicted of first degree murder, Salvi will receive a life sentence without possibility of parole. If found not guilty by reason of insanity, he will be confined to a psychiatric facility until he is found to be no longer mentally ill.

  • Location: Norfolk County Superior Court, Dedham, Massachusetts. In 1921, the Sacco and Vanzetti trial took place in this courthouse.

  • Presiding judge: The Honorable Barbara Dortch-Okara who earlier ruled John Salvi was competent to stand trial.

  • Witnesses: There are 190 potential witnesses--130 for the prosecution and 60 for the defense. Among the witnesses will be four to eight psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health experts testifying about Salvi's mental state. Salvi's parents will be called as defense witnesses to back up the insanity claim. The witnesses also will include at least fifteen people who have identified Salvi as the shooter.

  • Jury: Judge Dortch-Okara will question prospective jurors concerning their attitudes on abortion. She is requiring that prospective jurors provide her and the lawyers with detailed information such as any affiliation with religious and social organizations.

    Jurors will not be sequestered while evidence is presented but will be sequestered for the deliberation.

  • Press: Television cameras are excluded. There will be a courtroom pool photographer. The prosecution is requesting that the judge impose a gag order on the attorneys.

  • Attorneys for the Defense: J.W. Carney, Jr. and Janice Bassil. In arguing for not guilty by reason of insanity, the defense plans to present a history and understanding of John Salvi from birth to present.

  • Attorneys for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: John P. Kivlan, First Assistant District Attorney and Marianne C. Hinkle, Assistant District Attorney

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