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

Blagojevich retrial: Zagel denies two more defense motions

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U.S. District Judge James Zagel denied two motions by Blagojevich's lawyers this morning to limit what prosecutors can argue in court.

The defense wanted to limit prosecutors from asking witnesses what they "understood" from conversations with the then-governor. They also wanted to bring into evidence the fact that Blagojevich eventually signed the Racetrack Bill, saying the jury will assume he didn't if it's not brought up in testimony.

But Zagel said there was never any question about whether the bill was signed. Instead, prosecutors are arguing that the signing of the bill was delayed while Blagojevich allegedly demanded campaign contributions in exchange for signing it. Zagel accused the defense of twisting the prosecution's argument.

After discussing the two motions, Zagel briefly began addressing a motion from the prosecution before suddenly suspending the hearing to deal with "another matter." It's unclear what that might be.

He hasn't yet addressed defense lawyers' Sunday motion to scrap jury selection and start over because of "overwhelming bias."

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on May 2, 2011 12:22 PM.

Blagojevich retrial: Still waiting on jury picks was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich judge: If jury is biased, it's because Blagojevich wouldn't close his mouth is the next entry in this blog.

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