An "effen golden" ticket to the Oprah Show has gotten one juror excused from jury duty in Rod Blagojevich's retrial, but defense lawyers are complaining that three people remain in the jury pool even though they initially said they believed the former governor was guilty.
Attorneys took issue in a Friday court filing with three potential jurors who said on initial jury forms that they believed the former governor was guilty.
Judge James Zagel had allowed these people to remain in the jury pool over protests from the defense. Zagel said he had questioned the individuals and remained convinced that they could put preconceptions "to one side" and be fair at trial.
The defense still has a chance to kick the people off the panel, but they will have to use up one of their peremptory strikes to get them off. Other jurors, who Zagel deemed to be unfair (or, in one case because she had a ticket to go to the Oprah Show) were stricken "for cause" by the judge. Blagojevich was asked this week if that woman's Oprah ticket was "golden" as he famously described the U.S. Senate seat appointment on tape.
No, he said, it was "effen golden."
From the defense motion:
#116 who wrote:
"MY PERSONAL BIAS IS THAT HE'S GUILTY"
"Every chance he gets he keeps saying he will testify. I think I would hold it against him if he does not testify."
# 121 who wrote:
"Sounds like defendant is guilty"
# 160 who wrote:
- "I believe he is guilty and has a different private persona and a fake public persona."
- "I followed the trial closely in news and my ringtones are downloaded bleepin' quotes of Rod Blagojevich I got from the Springfield newspaper website."