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

Rod Blagojevich judge: "Cancel trial" request a publicity stunt. Lawyers say it's about the money

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Rod Blagojevich's judge scoffed at the ex-governor's request to "cancel" his trial, essentially calling it a publicity stunt.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel said he had no legal authority to dismiss charges, that's something only prosecutors can do.
Blagojevich had asked Zagel to cancel his second trial and sentence him immediately.
Zagel said he believed the request was "intended for an audience different than the court."
But attorneys after court said their filing wasn't simply a press release.
Attorney Lauren Kaeseberg said a defendant does have a right to a speedy trial and a right to assistance of counsel but Blagojevich's team -- which is getting taxpayer funding -- hadn't been paid for months.
They say they could not submit vouchers to get public funding until the judge appointed them.
That appointment didn't come until February. When they submitted their bills, which dated back to October, they hit an impasse facing publicly appointed defense lawyers nationwide: their payment was delayed. They have since been paid through January, Kaeseberg said. Future funding uncertainty remains, however, as Congress has hinted toward cuts to the judiciary.

So did the motion die?
Zagel said he couldn't formally rule on it because lawyers hadn't formally "presented" it to him. Typically, lawyers "notice" a motion to a judge, a secondary entry that alerts the judge to a motion and asks to schedule a court time for debate.
The practice has sometimes been followed in the case, but sometimes not.
Zagel's remarks evolved into a civics lesson, explaining the separation of powers and how he, as part of the judiciary, had no control over the executive branch (prosecutors).
Attorney Sheldon Sorosky said he'd properly "notice" the motion.
But Zagel made clear the filing had no hope.

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4 Comments

Blago's lawyers are trying to trick the judge into saying something that they can then use in a motion for substitution of judge. Hopefully he won't take the bait.

it would be a nightmare to stand in front of such a narrow minded judge

I never quite understood why the defense asked this of the Judge and not the prosecutors??? I'm taking bets that the prosecution is going to call Frawley as a proxy for Rezko.....any takers?

Rod Blagojevich isn't paying for his own defense?

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on March 21, 2011 11:43 AM.

Publicist: Rod Blagojevich's tsunami not same as Japan's was the previous entry in this blog.

Rod Blagojevich lawyers up in court again today to discuss secret filing is the next entry in this blog.

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