Blagojevich trial update, Judge James Zagel refuses to throw out conviction
From the Chicago Tribune October 27, 2010.
“A federal judge on Wednesday refused to throw out former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s lone conviction from his trial last summer.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel rejected the defense contention that prosecutors brought an overly complicated case that confused the jury and then damaged Blagojevich’s right to defend himself by limiting his lawyers at every turn.
The jury convicted Blagojevich of a single count of lying to the FBI but deadlocked on all 23 other counts. He is set to be retried on those charges April 20.
Blagojevich’s lawyers had maintained that a “plethora of errors” at trial had led to the lone conviction. Blagojevich’s “fundamental right to defend himself through cross-examination was stomped upon by obstructionist (and continuous) objections that were sustained by the court,” the defense wrote.
But Zagel’s two-page opinion concluded that the defense tactics showed it didn’t have a legal leg to stand on.”