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

Blagojevich jury selection tougher than expected

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Rod Blagojevich's trial judge, U.S. District Judge James Zagel, indicated this morning that jury selection in the former governor's retrial could drag out through this week.

To the surprise of prosecutors, Zagel said this morning that there were only 18 qualified jurors in a pool -- rather than the 28 that prosecutors believed were in the pool. Zagel said he was certain that his number was correct.

The parties are working to build a pool of 40 people who would not be dismissed for "cause." From 40, each side will issue their own strikes and eventually seat 12 jurors and six alternates.

"This is a relatively long jury selection process for federal court," Zagel said this morning. "It was a highly publicized case."

That would push opening statements to next week.

On top of the number of people who say they had formed opinions about Blagojevich already, many individuals are asking not to be chosen because they have economic concerns -- their jobs won't pay them during the entirety of the service or they're just about to start new work.

Meanwhile, the juror who has tickets to the Oprah show has remained in the pool.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on April 27, 2011 11:53 AM.

#Blagojevich retrial: Judge says opening statements could come Monday was the previous entry in this blog.

Probation officer, man who stabbed his brother, queried in Blagojevich jury is the next entry in this blog.

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