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

Blagojevich defense files for mistrial, says court is 'forcing' them to put on defense

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Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich filed for mistrial Monday, claiming that the hundreds of sustained objections from U.S. District Judge James Zagel have "impermissibly shifted the burden of proof in this case to unconstitutionally force the defense to put on evidence," according to the filing.

"The presumption of innocence has been decimated," defense lawyers wrote.

Zagel didn't rule on the motion Monday morning, putting it aside so the prosecution and defense could argue over a list of instructions to help the jury decide Blagojevich's fate. Those discussions lasted all morning and continue this afternoon.

Still no word on what defense, forced or not, Blagojevich's lawyers are planning to mount starting Wednesday morning. But lawyers have said they'll call "prominent" witnesses to the stand.

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Reporting with Lark Turner Rod Blagojevich's lawyers said today they want a mistrial based on Jesse Jackson Jr.'s testimony yesterday. In a nutshell: "At sidebar, defense counsel obtained a preliminary ruling from the Court regarding what would open th... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on May 23, 2011 1:20 PM.

Rod Blagojevich retrial update: No trial on Monday or Tuesday was the previous entry in this blog.

Emanuel 'ready, if asked' to testify if called by Blagojevich defense is the next entry in this blog.

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