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

Blagojevich retrial: Day 7. Opening statements

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Opening statements are expected today in Rod Blagojevich's retrial, right after the final jury is picked.

Today: Parties are to meet at 9 a.m. and each side will exercise its peremptory strikes. The defense has 13 strikes, the prosecution 9. They will seat 12 regular jurors and six alternates.
Opening statements: Prosecutor Reid Schar said the government should take less than an hour. Same for the defense, with Aaron Goldstein delivering remarks.

Witnesses: FBI Special Agent Dan Cain will be the government's first witness.

Last week's highlights:

Jurors: A ticket to the Oprah show got one person excused from duty but at least three others who said they thought Blagojevich was guilty remain in the pool.

Judge ruling: A significant, but overlooked ruling from Judge James Zagel means that jurors won't hear about Blagojevich's acts that happened after his arrest. The ruling means jurors won't hear that he signed horse-racing legislation and allowed pediatric rate increases for Children's Memorial Hospital. That's a big deal, since the ex-governor is accused of shaking down a racetrack owner and Children's CEO for campaign contributions in exchange for acts. Now, his defense can't argue -- as they did last trial -- that those entities got what they wanted, so no harm, no foul. That is, unless Blagojevich takes the witness stand.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 2, 2011 4:00 AM.

Think Blagojevich is guilty? Join his jury! was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich lawyers: Start over with jury selection is the next entry in this blog.

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