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

Blagojevich lawyer to jurors: 'Have the courage' to look at the facts alone

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Toward the end of his opening statement, defense lawyer Aaron Goldstein asked the jury to "have the courage to look at this case and make sure they prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt."

"Have the courage," he repeated. The prosecution objected and Judge James Zagel agreed, saying, "I don't think it's a test of courage, and if you think it is, you're going to have to introduce some evidence that proves it."

Goldstein also suggested President Barack Obama was involved in who would be picked for the Senate seat.

"The president, the soon-to-be president of the United States was sending messages to Rod to appoint Valerie Jarrett," he said

Coming as a surprise to no one, Goldstein said, was that Blagojevich likes to talk -- and talking, he added, is not a crime. Using Goldilocks-style phrasing, he said jurors were not there to decide whether Blagojevich "felt too much, too little or just right about the people of Illinois."

"If you do that," Goldstein said, finishing his argument, "If you give this man a fair trial, you'll see sitting before you an innocent man, and what you'll see after all is said and done, you'll see there is a whole lot said but nothing was done."

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on May 2, 2011 4:54 PM.

Blagojevich lawyer: 'Sick children were cured because of him!' was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich retrial: Day 8. Bring on the witnesses. is the next entry in this blog.

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