Judge James Zagel will hold a hearing Thursday about whether to release the names of jurors in Rod Blagojevich's case.
He's responding to media complaints after he said he wouldn't release jurors' identities until eight hours after a verdict. Zagel today said that jurors were harassed by the media after their verdict, including by one reporter who told the juror that he or she had to press the doorbell every half an hour on orders from the editor.
The eight hours gives jurors time to retreat to their "castles and decide for themselves if they want to raise or lower the gate," Zagel said.
Zagel today did leave open the possibility of releasing blank jury questionnaires as well as those that were filled out by jurors. He did not release the questionnaires, which give insight into the jurors when filled out. Blank questionnaires give insight into the defense and prosecution strategy. Zagel refused requests to release blank questionnaires during last summer's trial then destroyed the filled out papers after Blagojevich's verdict.