Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Blagojevich case: Retrial maybe not until next year. And if ex-gov wants public money, he'll be down to two lawyers

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If Rod Blagojevich wants to tap public money for the defense costs in his next trial, he'll be limited to two lawyers.

Meanwhile, at least one defense lawyer in the case says he won't be prepared for retrial until next year.

Rod Blagojevich had five lawyers who questioned witnesses for the last go-around, plus two more attorneys who acted as support throughout the case.

In a retrial though, he'll only be able to have two if he wants public money, according to rules set out by the Criminal Justice Act. That act sets out the criteria for a defendant to tap public resources.

Former Federal Defender Terence F. MacCarthy said that U.S. District Judge James Zagel is bound by that act. It allows for one lawyer except in complicated cases or in death penalty cases.

"You can only have two lawyers in the courtroom," MacCarthy said. "There's a little wiggle room. If you've got someone doing a research project, you can wiggle room it in. But you cannot pay them for sitting in the courtroom."

Sources have said that both Sam Adam Jr. and his father no longer want to be on the case. Their defense team has tapped the $2.8 million campaign fund that was paid out at $110 an hour for the last trial.

While prosecutors have publicly said they want to retry the case as quickly as possible (Prosecutor Reid Schar even suggested "tomorrow" last week), Michael Ettinger, attorney for Robert Blagojevich, said he has schedule conflicts that would keep him from redoing the case this year.

"I'm out until next year," Ettinger said today.

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Prosecution won't want a Christmas jury anyway.

Lynn, would like to be back in touch. Bev

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on August 23, 2010 5:07 PM.

Blagojevich juror: Robert Blagojevich shouldn't be tried again was the previous entry in this blog.

Jon Stewart to Blagojevich on Daily Show: "I'd like to see you as a victim, but you make it so hard." is the next entry in this blog.

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