Jurors in Rod Blagojevich's retrial finally have the case after receiving hard copies of their instructions on the law this morning.
There are 11 women and just one man on the jury.
In court on Friday, Judge James Zagel said he would consider a lengthy mistrial motion that the defense filed. In it, lawyers complained the judge created an unfair atmosphere in the courtroom. Lawyers argued he repeatedly issued "tilted rulings" in favor of the prosecution on an issue, then ruling against the defense on a similar issue.
"There appears to be a double standard with regard to the leeway given to the government throughout the case versus the defense," they wrote.
For example, the defense notes that when the government started cross-examination of Blagojevich, they asked him: "You are a convicted liar, right?"
"And then continued, over objection, with multiple questions of this sort including an improper question inferring that all politicians are liars," attorneys wrote. "Had the defense even come close to questions of this nature, the Court certainly would have sustained government objections and most likely the Court would have harshly criticized and reprimanded the defense."
Defense lawyers said by contrast: the defense asked former state employee and fund-raiser Rajinder Bedi: "so, you're a thief?"
The judge sustained the prosecution's objection.
"The contrast here is striking," defense lawyers wrote. "Bedi was convicted of theft, and a question regarding whether he was a 'thief' was not permitted. Blagojevich was convicted of making a false statement to an F.B.I. agent and an inflammatory, improper question was permitted. Blagojevich was not convicted of 'lying' and he is not 'a convicted liar.'"
To read the whole motion: click here