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:
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.