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

Blagojevich jurors finally have the case. Defense files lengthy mistrial bid.

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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

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki In a hearing this afternoon, Judge James Zagel said the jury that will decide the fate of Rod Blagojevich has picked its foreperson. The jury also set a daily schedule for its deliberations, Zagel said. He... Read More

9 Comments

This entire multi-milliondollar fiasco is a product of President-Elect Obama attempting to dictate who would replace him as Senator. The POTUS-elect knew that was not his call. The POTUS-elect knew he had a duty to stay out of it unless asked for his advice by the lawfully elected Governor of Illinois.

Obama had a duty under the law to leave it to Governor and to leave it alone. He did not. President-elect Obama set the tone and did nothing to demand appropriate behavior to protect the singular authority of Gov. Blago to pick the replacement. Obama could have acted so, but it's apparent he did not. Payback at considerable taxpayer expense and disruption to the governance of the state of Illinois was preferable.

Had Blago "rolled" for Obama there would be no investigation; no prosecution, no trial.

How does giving, Jackson, Jarrett, Emanuel, Obama, et. al. control or influence over who the Governor appoints to the vacated Senatorial seat protect the interests of the people of Illinois? It doesn't.

None of this is about protecting the citizens of the United States or the residents of Illinois.

It appears to this reader the governor of Illinois was subjected to serial intimidations in the many efforts of outsiders overtly "tampering" with the Governor's official duities of filling a vacant senatorial seat.

This is different from jury tampering how?

I'm not a lawyer so please understand if I am wrong. Was this the defense strategy .....1) Ask dozens of questions that you KNOW will objected to & sustained. 2) Manage to slip in a question that has wording that makes it LOOK like it should be objected & sustained, but can later be used to ask for a mistrial. 3) Get the judge aggravated enough that he says something that makes it look like he is biased. 4) Ask for mistrial claiming bias. The mistrial request must have just enough of these "little issues" that it makes it impossible for a mistrial NOT be granted. My question is - Is it possible for a mistrial because of these technicalities??? I suppose that if you just LOOK at the transcript paper, it does give you the impression that the judge was somewhat biased.

Bob are you related to carrie hamilton?

You must have failed law. school, Bessie. It's up to the Judge to decide

This is absolutely true. Blago's conviction is a matter of law. So was Bedi's conviction for theft. If the Defense had framed the question properly, it would have been proper and any objection would have been overruled. I know- I do this for a living. The Defense has only themselves to blame for their inept trial practice- the was nothing improper by the Judge. Judges are not that ready to have themselves reversed on appeal.

Judge Zagel has done a masterful job in this trial. Blagojevich is praying for a mistrial but it would only make things worse for him. He is going to jail because he is a true criminal in every sense of the word.

Blagojevich was convicted of making a false statement to an F.B.I. agent, yet he's not a convicted liar? What do they think lying is? I'm sure if the defense had asked Bedi if he was "convicted of theft" instead of "so, you're a theif?" it probably would have not been objected. From what it looks like, it's all in how you ask the question.

Blagojevich was convicted of making a false statement to an F.B.I. agent, yet he's not a convicted liar? What do they think lying is? I'm sure if the defense had asked Bedi if he was "convicted of theft" instead of "so, you're a theif?" it probably would have not been objected. From what it looks like, it's all in how you ask the question.

They forgot to mention in thier "mistrial bid" the Obama/Fitzgerald interview which was denied by the Judge 4 times, limiting thier ability to cross examine Tom Balanoff...The Judge took it upon himself to determine that there was nothing in the 302's the defense could use...That should not have been up to him to determine, it should have been up to the defense....They should have either turned over the 302's or eliminated the testimony from Balanoff.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 10, 2011 10:40 AM.

Video: 'We literally did have our days in court,' Blagojevich says after closing arguments conclude was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich judge: Jury has a foreperson, set its daily schedule is the next entry in this blog.

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