U.S. District Judge James Zagel, the judge presiding over Rod Blagojevich's retrial, ruled today that jurors' names will remain anonymous throughout the trial and will not be made public until 8 hours after the verdict is delivered.
The issue is long a contested one, after an appeals court in the first trial told Zagel he had to hold a hearing before sealing the jurors' names.
In that hearing, Zagel called the trial unusual and noted it drew considerable publicity, allowing the possibility that jurors could be harassed if their identities were known during the trial.
In his ruling, Zagel said objectors could file objection by Feb. 17 and he would hold a hearing the last full week of February.
Jurors typically become the story after a verdict is rendered.
That's because they're an essential part of the trial.
In Blagojevich's first trial, jurors were hung on 23 of 24 counts and in many they were divided 11-1.
Click here for the ruling.
Blagojevich judge says jurors names will be kept secret
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