Blagojevich motion for retrial, July 26, 2011, Judicial bias by Judge James Zagel, Wiretaps should be played
“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich
“There is enough corruption in Illinois so that all it takes is someone who is serious about finding it to uncover it. If a U.S. attorney is not finding corruption in Illinois, they’re not seriously looking for it.”…Northwestern Law Professor James Lindgren
From the Chicago Tribune July 26, 2011.
“Blagojevich asks for new trial, cites judicial bias”
“Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, convicted last month of wire fraud, bribery, attempted extortion and conspiracy in his second federal public corruption trial, filed a motion late Monday for another retrial, citing numerous instances of alleged judicial bias and error that helped the prosecution “strip away the effective aspects of the defense case.”
“Virtually every error in this trial stemmed from the fact that this Court deprived Blagojevich of the presumption of innocence and exhibited bias against the defense,” the motion asserted. “The Court formed a closed mind to the evidence and made findings of fact.”
The motion said that “the government did not only benefit from the first trial, it used every opportunity to strip away the effective aspects of the defense case. … The Court rubber-stamped the government’s requests.”
The litany of criticisms in the 158-page document touched on everything from jury selection to Blagojevich’s attorneys’ long-held argument that more of the secretly-recorded phone calls that were at the heart of the government case should be played.
The motion also noted that U.S. District Judge James Zagel ruled against Blagojevich at nearly every turn.
His attorneys also zeroed in on Blagojevich’s decision to testify at the second trial — arguing that while Zagel had assured Blagojevich’s defense team that taking the stand would allow Blagojevich the chance to explain his behavior, his rulings during the testimony prevented that.
Blagojevich did not testify during his first trial last year in which a jury convicted him of one of 24 counts against him — that he lied to the FBI. The jury deadlocked on the rest of the charges, leading to the second trial and his sweeping conviction last month on an additional 17 counts.”