with Natasha Korecki
When potential juror No. 126 -- a 22-year-old recent college graduate -- sat down for questioning by Judge Zagel, the judge paid him a compliment: "Yours is the best questionnaire I read," the judge said.
As it turns out, Zagel was being facetious.
Zagel went on to zing the man for, among other things, consulting with a lawyer about how to get out of serving on the Rod Blagojevich jury and marking "yes" on his questionnaire about whether he has a medical condition.
His illness: A bad temper.
The man also said on his questionnaire that "self-interest and short-term interests will kill our country."
The potential juror said he was going off to New York to be an investment banker and couldn't miss training or he'd be "screwed out of a job."
"Would that be an expression of your self-interest?" Zagel needled.
"Yes, that's true," No. 126 replied.
In concluding his questioning of the man, Zagel asked him "Is there anything you wouldn't say to get out of jury service?" and alluded to the embarrassment he might suffer if his jury questionnaire was made public.
"The only thing that saves you from me not making this public is the fact we do destroy these questionnaires," Zagel said.