Jury Questioning Continues in Rod Blagojevich Retrial - FOX 32 News Chicago

Jury Questioning Continues in Rod Blagojevich Retrial


Jury selection continued Monday in the Rod Blagojevich retrial, with 14 potential jurors making it to the next round.

Complete Rod Blagojevich Trial Coverage >>

Key Points:

  • Judge James Zagel hopes to narrow the pool down to 40 possible jurors, then lawyers will be able to use their peremptory challenges to remove candidates and get down to a group of 18 -- 12 regular jurors and six alternates.
  • The selection process has been difficult so far. Several prospective jurors have told the judge that they either don't like politicians or think Blagojevich is guilty.
  • Of the potential jurors who were approved for the next round last week, there is a former Lake County prosecutor, a pension engineer, a substitute teacher and a chemical engineer.
  • If a jury is seated in the coming days, opening statements could be delivered by the end of the week, possibly on Wednesday.
  • Prosecutors filed a motion to play a portion of a January 2009 broadcast of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show on which Blagojevich said it would be wrong for a politician to do the things he's accused of, but that he didn't do them.
  • "Both Patti and I can't wait for this trial to begin," Blagojevich said. "It has been a long and hard journey, scratching and clawing our way back to clear my name and get the vindication I know I deserve, and to show the people of Illinois that I didn't let them down."


UPDATE:   4:30 p.m.
Court dismissed for the day with 14 more people added to the potential jury pool. Combined with last week's jury selection, so far the judge has 26 potential jurors. He's hoping for more than 40. Court resumes on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.


UPDATE:   4:15 p.m.
Judge tells juror who was worried about missing the May 10 Oprah show (she has four tickets) that he could alter the trial's schedule for her.


UPDATE:   3:50 p.m.
Court resumes with challenges to potential jurors. Several have been tossed. The psychologist with suicidal patients is out, the Chicago Tribune editor is out.


UPDATE:   3:35 p.m.
Court is on a short break. So far today, 25 jurors have been questioned. The judge was hoping for 40, but might not get that far.


UPDATE:   2:29 p.m.
A potential juror who is a psychologist asked the court he not serve on the jury because his suicidal patients need him. He was not relieved.  Another member of the jury pool is a sleep disorder expert.


UPDATE:   1:53 p.m.
After lunch, Judge Zagel swore in another 40 potential jurors and began questioning the first one. 


UPDATE:   12:20 p.m.
As of the court’s lunch break, 12 potential jurors had been questioned. In a light-hearted moment, one said she was a fan of Judge Judy, but Judge Zagel said it would not be like that in his courtroom.

There was some serious concern that many potential jurors are biased against Blagojevich. To the potential juror who thought Blagojevich was “a little off center,” the judge said that doesn’t mean the person has already decided on guilt or innocence. Another potential juror believes many politicians engage in pay-to-play.

Of those questioned Monday, one was a weekend editor for Chicago Tribune, who admitted to being a voracious reader of all things Blagojevich, there was also a graphic artist, a dietician who specializes in bananas and a painter.


UPDATE:   11:18 a.m.
Court took a short break.  Nine jurors have been questioned thus far Monday morning.


UPDATE:   10:54 a.m.
One potential juror said Blagojevich seems "a little off-center," and another recalled Blagojevich "was caught on tape."  Another woman said she didn't want to miss an Oprah Show on May 10 she has tickets for.


UPDATE:   10:28 a.m.
The judge was questioning the court's fifth potential juror for the day. The first woman was a Navy veteran who said she didn't pay much attention to the first trial, according to the Associated Press.


UPDATE:   9:45 a.m.
Court is called into session.


UPDATE:   9:26 a.m.
Blagojevich arrives at the Dirksen Federal Building. All he said to the media as he headed upstairs to the courtroom was "I'm working today."


Rod Blagojevich Scandal: More Key Players

Visit the "Who's Who" page to learn more about the former Illinois governor , his co-defendants, inner circle, the legal team and what people like President Obama , Sen. Dick Durbin and other high-profile people have to do with the case. >>

[ Embed our interactive graphic on your site ]

Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices