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City Desk

Life continues in the wake of attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11. Death-penalty trials, too. A day before the attacks, the defense rested its case in the Tommy Edelin trial—the District’s first death-penalty trial in more than 30 years. The jury had absorbed more than four months of argument, evidence, and testimony about the murder and mayhem that Edelin and his co-defendants had allegedly wreaked on enemies and innocents alike in the drug trade. Then came the terrorist attacks. That morning, the judge sent the jurors, whom U.S. marshals bring to the courthouse each day from a secret location, home for two days. When court resumed on Thursday, the judge quickly shot down a request for a mistrial, and jurors answered questions about whether they could carry on in the wake of Tuesday’s tragedy and still be fair. “Each juror, to a person, said yes,” says an attorney who was there. Deliberations began on Sept. 17, and if the jury finds Edelin guilty, it will have to decide whether to sentence him to death. —Annys Shin