Tag Archives: Blagojevich trial juror names secret

Blagojevich trial juror names secret, Judge James Zagel opinion, Media conduct improper and abusive

Blagojevich trial juror names secret, Judge James Zagel opinion, Media conduct improper and abusive

“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 March 1, 2011.

“A federal judge says he’ll keep the names of jurors at the upcoming retrial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich secret until 9 a.m. the day after proceedings end – brushing aside arguments from media groups that there’s a public interest in releasing them sooner.

In a six-page opinion, Judge James Zagel cites some reporters repeatedly knocking on the doors of jurors’ homes just hours after Blagojevich’s first trial ended, as well as a TV station helicopter hovering over a house where another panelist was staying.

“The conduct of some media after the names were released was improper and, in some cases, abusive,” Zagel wrote in an opinion posted late Monday.

Among the remedies he could employ to ward off journalists after the retrial, Zagel wrote, was passing out “No Trespassing” signs to jurors to put up on their doors or in their yards.

At the retrial, set to start April 20, Blagojevich faces charges including that he tried to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat. At the first trial, jurors deadlocked on all but one count, convicting Blagojevich of lying to the FBI. The former governor denies all wrongdoing.

The Chicago Tribune and other media groups had asked Zagel to release the jurors’ names immediately after the retrial ends. Their attorney, James Klenk, said Tuesday that he was disappointed in Zagel’s ruling, adding he hadn’t yet discussed the possibility of an appeal with his clients.

At a recent hearing on the issue, Zagel used unusually tough language to chastise reporters. Zagel said that as a consequence of what he described as “harassment” by reporters at the first trial, otherwise qualified potential jurors may be leery about serving at the second trial “because they fear an onslaught of a rapacious media.””

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-blago-jurors-to-be-kept-secret-until-day-after-trial-20110301,0,3018841.story

Blagojevich trial juror names secret, Judge James Zagel, Questionnaires not released

Blagojevich trial juror names secret, Judge James Zagel, Questionnaires not released

“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

From the Chicago Tribune February 8, 2011.

“The federal judge presiding over the retrial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich ruled today that he intends to keep the names of jurors secret until after the verdict and won’t publicly release the written questionnaires they fill out.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel said he intends to destroy the questionnaires to “help ensure full candor of responses.” He took the same action after the first trial last year.

The judge also said he would identify jurors by number during the trial and only release their names eight hours after the verdict is returned. He released the names moments after the verdict was announced last time.

Zagel wasn’t specific about why he made the change, writing, “Incidents occurring after juror names were released following the first trial counsels the wisdom of providing a short delay in releasing jurors’ names, even after the verdict is returned.””

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-judge-blagojevich-jurors-to-remain-secret-20110208,0,2705694.story