Blagojevich trial opening statements Monday May 1, 2011, Dozen jurors and six alternates will be picked from 45
“Why did the Illinois Senate Health & Human Services Committee, with Obama as chairman, create and push Bill 1332, “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” early in 2003, which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, just prior to rigging by Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich
From the Chicago Tribune April 28, 2011.
“Opening statements appear set for Monday at the retrial of Rod Blagojevich, more than eight months after the first jury deadlocked on most of the corruption charges against the former governor.
The questioning of prospective jurors in U.S. District Judge James Zagel’s courtroom concluded Thursday, but the judge gave both sides until Monday morning to mull how to use their peremptory challenges. Those allow the lawyers to dismiss jurors without giving a reason. Prosecutors can strike nine people they don’t want on the jury, while the defense has 13 challenges. A dozen jurors and six alternates will be picked from 45 people who survived an initial round of cuts.
Lawyers on both sides told the judge they then expect to take an hour each to give their opening remarks. The prosecution would then begin presenting evidence.
Over last-minute objections by the defense, several jurors are still in the running despite admitting in written questionnaires that they think Blagojevich is likely guilty of the charges, which include allegations he tried to sell a U.S. Senate seat. One man told the judge he downloaded as the ring tone of his cellphone some infamous undercover recordings of Blagojevich using expletives.
“Instead of ring, ring, ring, or whatever it does, it’s a derogatory quote” from Blagojevich, complained the former governor’s attorney, Sheldon Sorosky.
Zagel responded by saying he believes he judged the true feelings of the prospective jurors during the courtroom questioning, and that those who remain in the group of 45 can be fair.”