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Fitzgerald on Blago: 'We don't want to be back here again.'

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U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, flanked by 17 other government officials, reacted to Rod Blagojevich's 14-year sentence, calling it "profoundly sad."

Fitzgerald said that having two Illinois governors convicted of crimes in the same century would be too much.

"We've seen it happen twice in five years," Fitzgerald said, calling it "profoundly sad."

"The public has had enough and judges have had enough," Fitzgerald said. "This needs to stop. To put it very, very simply, we don't want to be back here again. .. the short answer is, this must stop."

Fitzgerald said he felt for the Blagojevich children but noted that it's often the family who pays when a criminal gets caught.

"What happened to the family is a very sad situation," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald famously said after Blagojevich's 2008 arrest that "Lincoln would be rolling over in his grave," if he knew of Blagojevich's conduct.

Asked what Lincoln would be doing today, Fitzgerald said:"I'm going to be dull today, I'm not going to comment."

After weeks in the courtroom and 10 days of deliberations, Kim Spaetti, one of the jurors who voted Rod Blagojevich guilty on 17 of 20 counts against him, said Wednesday U.S. District Judge James Zagel "seemed like he was very much for the government."

"It did seem that he was pro-prosecution," said Spaetti, 31, of Winthrop Harbor, who works at a fruit company. Zagel's perceived bias didn't factor into the jury's deliberations, she said. "None of us were legal experts. We didn't know why they [prosecutors] were objecting so much. We tried not to speculate on why."

Much of the questioning by Blagojevich's defense team was objected to by prosecutors and ultimately blocked by Zagel, in attempts to keep out facts the judge had already ruled couldn't be part of the trial.

Blagojevich's antics on the stand included saying "God bless you" every time a juror sneezed. Turns out Spaetti was the sneeziest juror in the box.

"Yes, I was the sneeze juror," she said, sighing. "He blessed me, god, three or four times. I was the butt of the jokes every time we got back in the jury room. What can you do? He's a funny guy."

Spaetti also said the ex-gov's personal testimony was excessive.

"The whole first day, I really thought it was a waste of our time. I don't think we needed the rags-to-riches story," Spaetti said. "I don't think it pertained to the trial."

Blagojevich spent his first day on the stand talking personal history, including a "man-crush" on Alexander Hamilton, his days wearing polyester as a student at Northwestern University and his first date with wife Patti.

Meanwhile, she said some of the defense's decisions left her puzzled or, in the case of Jesse Jackson Jr., saying, "Oh my god" in shock.

"He humiliated him," Spaetti said.

For all of Blagojevich's time on the stand defending himself -- and in spite of what jurors said seemed like testimony directed toward them -- Spaetti said she had little trouble finding Blagojevich guilty.

"It really wasn't difficult for me. I went in there really headstrong," she said.

She said it could be difficult balancing that with opinions of others in the jury room during the nine substantive days of deliberations before the jury finally announced its verdict: Blagojevich was guilty on 17 of 20 counts and not guilty on one. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on two of the counts.

Maribel DeLeon, another juror on the trial, told reporters she was hoping to find Blagjevich not guilty -- but the evidence pointed in a different direction.

"I'd come in thinking, 'OK, he's not guilty,' and then all of a sudden I'm like, 'Gosh darn you, Rod! You did it again!' I mean, he proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty," said DeLeon, a mother of three.

For Spaetti, that could be frustrating.

"There were a couple jurors who would frequently would look on the defense side," she said, and other jurors had to constantly remind them to look at the evidence. "Yes, we see Patti in the courtroom crying and he brought his daughter in one day, but you're there to do a job and people are counting on you to put that aside."

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Rod Blagojevich arrived at a packed courthouse Monday afternoon to hear a jury announce its verdict on 18 of the 20 counts against the former governor. The jury said this morning in a note to the judge that they were unanimous on 18 of the 20 counts and unable to come to an agreement on the remaining two.

Shaking hands with members of the media and greeting ogling spectators outside the courthouse -- including construction workers across the street -- Blagojevich stopped to ask a reporter how she did in a weekend marathon. She said she won.

"I hope I'm as lucky," he said.

He held hands with his wife Patti and the two headed upstairs to Judge James Zagel's courtroom on the 25th floor of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.

The courthouse was busier than it's been throughout the entire trial, with a media bullpen on the first floor packed with reporters.

The verdict is expected shortly.

Click here for a summary of the charges.


Reporting with Natasha Korecki

The jury debating Rod Blagojevich's fate has come to a unanimous decision on 18 of the 20 counts against the former governor. It appears we will have a verdict this afternoon.

They remain deadlocked on 2.

In a note to Judge James Zagel Monday morning, the jury wrote that they were "confident we will not come to an agreement" on the other 2 counts, "even with further deliberations."

The prosecution said Zagel should accept a verdict on the 18 counts and the defense had no objection.

Zagel, who is overseeing another trial in his courtroom, said the verdict will be announced no earlier than 1 p.m.

The jury's communication came on day 10 of their talks and after taking a three-day weekend. They had gone all of last week without saying a word.

The note quickly squashed speculation that yet another jury was hung on the ex-governor's case. Last summer, a panel of six women and six men were deadlocked on 23 of 24 counts, convicting the former governor of just one count.

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Onto day 10.

Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich will have to wait until at least next week to hear from the jury debating his fate on 20 counts charging him with corruption, fraud and extortion.

The jury ended its ninth day at its usual 4 p.m. Thursday and will be back to deliberating Monday. Their regular schedule is Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the clerk of court.

Last year, Blagojevich's jury took 14 days to deliberate before letting Judge James Zagel know they were hopelessly deadlocked. It turned out they were hung on 23 of 24 counts against the ex-gov.

The jury deliberating the fate of Rod Blagojevich was spotted Thursday entering a private elevator on its way to get lunch.

About half of the jurors were looking casual and wearing blue jeans, while others were slightly dressier. They mostly talked in small groups, while a couple individuals stood isolated. One whispered in another's ear.

It's day nine of the jury's deliberations and there's been no signal from them all week on the status of their deliberations. The jury has previously sent two notes to Judge James Zagel.

Last year, the jury on Blagojevich's first trial deliberated for 14 days and came back hung on all but one count.

Jurors in the retrial are weighing 20 counts against the ex-gov, charged with fraud, extortion and corruption.


Some thought yesterday would be the day. Some thought it would have been last week, others were saying next week.

But this morning, I've heard several people give the same reaction: "I'm done guessing."

Here we are, day 9 of deliberations in a case that prosecutors took 11 days to present and no sign from the Rod Blagojevich jury. No note since last Thursday.

We will mention that last year's jury sent out two notes right away, then went eight days without making a peep. On day 11, the panel sent a flurry of notes before concluding they could not come to a consensus on 23 of the 24 counts.

In the retrial, there are 20 counts the jury of 11 women and one man must ponder. And significantly different this time: Blagojevich was on the witness stand for parts of seven days.

So they're not only weighing witness testimony, transcripts, tapes and documents -- but the defendant's own words.

Blagojevich repeatedly said on the stand that he had never made a decision on who to appoint to the Senate seat before he was arrested Dec. 9, 2008 on charges that he was trading government action for a personal benefit.

The former governor insisted that he absolutely would never have appointed U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to the Senate seat, even though he's heard on tape talking about the fund-raising that supporters of the congressman had offered in exchange for the nod.

Prosecutors accused Blagojevich of making up testimony "after the fact" so that it fit in with the secret FBI recordings the feds had made.


Rod Blagojevich's jurors were spotted today, looking cheery on a break.

Court security escorted the 11 women and one man downstairs through a private elevator at around noon. They were likely on their way to grab some lunch.

The jurors were dressed as they were during the trial, with some wearing business clothing for the occasion and others looking casual. Some were quiet as they filed past, but most were talking or exchanging jokes, smiling.

Defense lawyer Sheldon Sorosky was also briefly on the 25th floor near Judge James Zagel's courtroom, but he quickly headed back downstairs.

It's the jury's eighth day deliberating 20 charges against the former governor who is accused of corruption, extortion and fraud.

The jury is holed up in Judge James Zagel's chambers for an eighth day as speculation grows about what the 11 women and one man are discussing as they debate Rod Blagojevich's fate.

The relatively quiet jury -- read more about last year's jurors here -- has sent two notes to Zagel thus far. Neither have offered much of a clue into deliberations. The more substantive note asked for clarification on the definition of wire fraud.

Zagel declined to give a definition, telling the jurors to read his instructions again and be more specific if they still had a question. They haven't sent a note since.

They're deliberating 20 counts against the ex-gov.


On day seven of deliberations, the jury in Rod Blagojevich's retrial again is silent. So far, the panel of 11 women and one man has been fairly quiet, sending just two notes.

In the most substantive note, sent last week, the jurors asked for clarification on an element of wire fraud, which makes up 10 counts against the former governor. They need to find four elements were met in order to convict Blagojevich of those charges, which mainly involve the alleged sale of President Obama's Senate seat.

Last year's jury went eight days without making a sound.
It turned out they were at war.

Here's a run-down of LAST YEAR'S JURY deliberations, which lasted 14 days:

-- NOTE NUMBER ONE: The six women and six men didn't take long before they had a question.
On day two of their talks, July 29, 2010, jurors made their first request: they wanted a transcript of the prosecution's closing argument. The request was denied because closing arguments are not evidence.
After reading the note, the three prosecutors on the case looked at each other and laughed.
Jury's first note: Click here

-- NOTE NUMBER TWO: The next day, July 30, day three of talks they asked U.S. District Judge James Zagel for transcripts of all the witness testimony. He denied the request but said he may give them specific witnesses. They never asked for more.

-- NOTE NUMBER THREE: Eight days of silence go by without a peep from the panel. Then, on day 11 of talks, the jurors communicate a whopper: They are at an impasse: Click here "We have gone beyond reasonable attempts" to reach a unanimous decision and "now ask for guidance," the panel, headed by James Matsumoto, said in a note. Still, they continue talking.

-- NOTE NUMBER FOUR: The next day, Aug. 12, a Thursday, jurors reveal something else -- on day 12 of talks, they were unanimous on just two of 24 counts. They reveal they couldn't reach consensus on 11 wire fraud counts (there's now just 10 after prosecutors dropped one count.) At this point, Blagojevich is waiting in the cafeteria and can only digest Snapple for lunch.

-- NOTE NUMBER FIVE: The following Monday, Aug. 16, jurors ask for transcript of the testimony of former Illinois deputy governor Bradley Tusk. This happens on day 13 of talks.

-- NOTE NUMBER SIX: The morning of Aug. 17, a Tuesday, jurors ask for two things: a copy of the oath they took when they were seated, and second, instructions on how to fill out their verdict form if they can't reach a unanimous decision on a certain count or counts. It's day 14 of their deliberations.
At about 3 p.m. that same day, the defendants -- brothers Rod and Robert Blagojevich -- were summoned to court.
-- VERDICT: On day 14 of talks, at around 4:30 p.m. the verdict -- or lack of one -- is read. The ex-governor is convicted of just one count -- lying to the FBI. The jury is hung on 23 remaining counts. On the 11 Senate seat sale charges, the jury votes 11 to 1 in favor of conviction with a female hold-out juror who stands her ground. The other counts are more evenly divided, with the men and women sparring.

It's the longest day of the year and the seventh day of jury deliberations in Rod Blagojevich's retrial, and there's been no word from jurors since Thursday.

They sent a note that day asking U.S. District Judge James Zagel to clarify part of the definition for wire fraud.

During last summer's trial, jurors spent 14 days deliberating and came back hung on 23 of the 24 counts facing the ex-governor, convicting him on a relatively lesser charge of making a false statement to the FBI. This time, Blagojevich faces 20 charges, half of which charge him with wire fraud.

Twelve of the 20 charges relate to allegations Blagojevich was hawking Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat to get benefits for himself.

After a break Friday, Saturday and Sunday, jurors are back in the Dirksen Federal Courthouse Monday for their sixth day of deliberations.

The jury sent a note to Judge James Zagel Thursday asking for clarification on the legal definition of wire fraud. Half of the 20 counts Rod Blagojevich faces are wire fraud charges, most relating to the Senate seat allegations.

Specifically the jury wanted clarification on one of the four elements necessary to find Blagojevich guilty of the offense: "that the scheme to defraud involved a materially false and fraudulent pretense, representation, promise, or concealment."

Zagel sent a note back to the jury asking them to read over the instructions again and, if they were still confused, to be more clear about their question in a second note. Thursday ended without another note from the jury.

The jury is made up of 11 women and one man; read more about who's in the room here. For more on what the unusually large gender gap might mean for Blagojevich, click here.

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Jurors have sent a note asking for clarification on a jury instruction involving 10 of the 20 counts against former governor Rod Blagojevich.

They specifically asked about the third part of the instruction which says: "Third, that the scheme to defraud involved a materially false and fraudulent pretense, representation, promise, or concealment."

That's interesting, because to find Blagojevich guilty of wire fraud, jurors must find that the government has proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, all four elements of wire fraud -- including the third proposition that they are asking about.

(Click here to read the proposed jury instructions.)

Blagojevich is charged with 10 counts of wire fraud, nearly all having to do with the Senate seat. The jury instruction in question is about one-third of the way through the 70 or so pages they received.

The jurors will get a note back asking them to further clarify what specifically in that sentence they want detailed.

The note from Judge James Zagel tells the panel of 11 women and one man to review all of the instructions again. Then he said, if still necessary, jurors should specify which part of that phrase they want clarified. He told the lawyers in the parties to stay nearby -- and encouraged them to visit a library -- so if and when jurors want further clarification, it can be offered.

This is the instruction that jurors are reviewing:

Counts 1 through 10 of the indictment charge the defendant with wire fraud.
To sustain the charge of wire fraud, as charged in Counts 1 through 10, the government must prove the following propositions beyond a reasonable doubt: First, that the defendant knowingly devised or participated in a scheme to defraud the public of its right to the honest services of Rod Blagojevich or John Harris by demanding, soliciting, seeking, asking for, or agreeing to accept, a bribe in the manner described in the particular Count you are considering;

Second, that the defendant did so with the intent to defraud;

Third, that the scheme to defraud involved a materially false and fraudulent pretense, representation, promise, or concealment; and

Fourth, that for the purpose of carrying out the scheme or attempting to do so, the defendant used or caused the use of interstate wire communications to take place in the manner charged in the particular Count you are considering.

If you find from your consideration of all the evidence that each of these propositions has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of the particular count you are considering. If, on the other hand, you find from your consideration of all the evidence that any of these propositions has not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of the particular count you are considering.

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Lawyers and prosecutors in Rod Blagojevich's retrial were summoned to court on the fifth day of jury deliberations for an unknown reason. They've just emerged from Judge James Zagel's chambers and court has begun.

All attorneys stepped out from Zagel's chambers smiling. Both sides are now huddling and looking over papers.

No word yet on why the lawyers were summoned to court or what they were discussing.

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

On the fifth day of jury deliberations, lawyers and prosecutors in Rod Blagojevich's retrial were summoned to court for an unknown reason.

They're currently in Judge James Zagel's chambers.

It's possible the jury is asking to deliberate Friday after all -- despite originally scheduling to meet for deliberations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The jury has sent one note to Zagel so far regarding a transcript discrepancy.

More to come.

Blagojevich jury: It's day four of talks.

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The jury in Rod Blagojevich's retrial is in their fourth day of deliberations.

The panel of 11 women and one man was quiet until Tuesday, when it asked about a transcript of a phone call dealing with the Senate seat. The call is about half-way through the recordings produced by the prosecution -- if that's any marker on how far along they are in talks.

The jury in last year's trial took 14 days before returning hung on 23 of 24 counts. The panel convicted only on the false statement charge, complaining the case was confusing and lacked a "smoking gun."

This time around, prosecutors put on a slimmed-back case and worked to make it more straight-forward. However, Blagojevich also took the witness stand, hoping to throw some doubt into the allegations.

The jurors in Rod Blagojevich's retrial began their third day of deliberations Tuesday, discussing 20 counts against the former governor who is accused of extortion, fraud and corruption.

The jurors were seated in the order they were picked sequentially, with two exceptions -- one juror who would have been among the 12 was sent home a couple of weeks ago, that brought juror 179, the library science major, into the mix. Then last week, we learned that juror 132, the one who said she was a fan of "Judge Judy," was moved out of order into an alternate position. That brought juror 181 into the mix.

So now, these are the jurors believed to be in the room:

103 A female bartender, Juror 103 has also worked at a database management company and said she's a "weekend warrior" when it comes to a sideline photography gig. She said she remembers last trial's verdict, but not much else: the televisions at work are normally tuned to sports channels.

120 This juror is a young woman who administers pensions, she said. In her spare time, she likes to hang out with her kids.

124 This woman used to work for a food service. A widow, she said she likes to listen to classical music. Her father served in the Navy.

131 This woman moved from California to Chicago because "you follow your love sometimes," she told the judge. A dietician, she works for a food company with a focus on bananas, and said she recalled parts of last year's trial.

136 This female juror, an African American, used to serve in the Navy and said she didn't pay attention to last summer's trial. Her child once visited a doctor at Children's Memorial Hospital. A part-time caterer, she's hoping to go into nursing, she told the judge.

140 A third and fourth grade teacher who said she loves her job, this juror usually just reads headlines in the Daily Herald. She's acted as a learning coach to other teachers, but wasn't a supervisor.

142 This juror does sterilization and lab work for a dental office in her brother's practice, a job she's been doing for the last nine years after raising her children. She's served on a jury multiple times in the county where she lives.

146 This middle-aged woman has been practicing music since she was in junior high, and worked as a choral director until her recent retirement. She said she believes most politicians are good and said "since public officials are human, some may consider their own interests, and you'd hope that they would place their duties of office first."

149 This 40-something mother of three was recently laid off from her job as director of marketing and sales for a manufacturing company, a field she's worked in for most of her life. She didn't care, one way or the other, about the last trial, and told Judge James Zagel she could be a fair juror.

174 This father of two with a slight Boston accent said from what he read, "I figured he was possibly guilty, but that was just a guess." It's an opinion he said he could put aside, though that didn't stop the defense from trying to kick him off for cause. He works in a distribution company and reads the Chicago Tribune on Sundays.

179 This librarian has a master's degree in library science and does social networking for the small- or medium-sized library where she works. She likes to swim and knit, and said she read up on Blagojevich after she got the summons because she was curious.

181 This older female said she didn't form an opinion on Blagojevich because she didn't care much about the news. She's been retired for almost a year and donates to Goodwill and her church.

And these are the likely alternates. One juror was removed from the jury during the trial for undisclosed reasons, so five alternates remain:

132 This middle-aged woman reads her local paper and helps run a small video store. She said she sometimes watches Judge Judy, and Zagel warned her that the case would likely not be so dramatic. She has no preconceptions about the case.

184 This 30-something male service representative for McDonald's Corp. talks to employees around the country about their benefits and used to work for the Chicago Park District as a lifeguard.

190 This woman's husband did some campaign work for Blagojevich when he was running for congressman, but doesn't talk about it much and said he only met Blagojevich once or twice. She has an accounting degree and works between technology and corporate departments at her company. The couple have two kids ages 9 and 6 and sometimes tune into The Daily Show and The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

191 This mother of three's youngest is about to graduate high school. The former PTA vice-president is active in her Greek Orthodox church and only reads a little news, though she's skeptical of politicians.

192 This juror said he doesn't believe everything he reads. He makes aerosol cans and used to work in a steel factory. He said he spends much of his time chasing after his three young children.

The jurors deliberating in Rod Blagojevich's retrial have adjourned for the day, according to the clerk of court.

Jurors have said they will deliberate 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Monday concluded the jury's second full day of deliberations.

Blagojevich's jury, of which 11 members are women and one is a man, picked a foreperson and a schedule Friday, according to Judge James Zagel.

The jury is back Monday for deliberations on the 20 pending counts against Rod Blagojevich.

Jurors have said they will deliberate 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Blagojevich's jury, of which 11 members are women and one is a man, picked a foreperson and a schedule Friday, according to Judge James Zagel.

The jury deliberates following a week of closing arguments and a defense motion for mistrial denied by Zagel Friday. The defense claimed they received an unfair trial from a judge who had already made his decision in the case.

"Truth is, you may not like us. You may not like our client. You have formed opinions from the first trial," defense lawyer Lauren Kaeseberg told Zagel Friday. "The truth of the matter is we didn't get a fair trial."

The defense also said Zagel misled them into putting Blagojevich on the stand. The judge countered Blagojevich knew testifying was his best choice. He also said he had not formed opinions on the case or the defendant's guilt, telling the defense team that's the jury's job.

The jury deliberates following a day and a half of closing arguments from the prosecution and defense. Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton painstakingly broke down the charges against Blagojevich and the tapes and testimony prosecutors say support their case. They also urged jurors to listen to every tape before finishing their deliberations.

The plea to listen to the tapes was echoed by defense lawyer Aaron Goldstein in his closing argument, who said listening would prove his client's innocence. Goldstein also tried to tear down government witnesses, many of whom received immunity or plea deals, and chalked up much of Blagojevich's talk to normal -- albeit overly chatty -- politicking from a very talkative governor.

"He didn't get a dime, a nickel, a penny," Goldstein said, screaming and pointing at Blagojevich. "He talked and he talked and that is all he did. ... They want you to believe his talk is a crime. It's not."

The last thing jurors heard from a lawyer before heading back to deliberate? These words from prosecutor Reid Schar: "Your verdict will speak the truth. And the truth is he is guilty."

Watch an excerpt from Blagojevich's post-closing argument news conference here.

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 would not specify what that schedule was except to say the jury will end earlier than is typical.

Read more on Blagojevich's jury here.

Zagel will also address a defense motion for mistrial in the hearing, which is still in progress. That motion included a mention by the defense suggesting Zagel misled them into putting Blagojevich on the stand.

The defense contends Zagel told them Blagojevich could talk about his understanding of the law or what was legal, but then Zagel wouldn't allow it.

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

Blagojevich retrial: Day 8. Bring on the witnesses.

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Opening highlights

A pared down version of Rod Blagojevich's case was delivered to a newly-minted jury panel in the former governor's retrial Monday. The jury is made up of 15 women and three men.

Prosecution: The government took heed from jurors who sat in last summer's trial and sliced off significant portions of their case in their initial remarks, which lasted less than an hour. They focused on five shakedown schemes, focusing on the alleged sale of President Obama's Senate seat. Patti Blagojevich was unscathed this time around in openings, with no allegations involving her being a ghostpayroller for convicted businessman Tony Rezko.



Defense:
For its part, the defense told jurors to ask themselves after every witness testifies and every tape is played, what ended up happening in the alleged scheme.
"Rod gets nothing. Rod does nothing," defense lawyer Aaron Goldstein said.

WITNESS LIST

1. FBI Special Agent Dan Cain. He will give an overview of the case and tease to the hundreds of secretly recorded conversations.
2. John Harris: In a change, the former chief of staff will be the first insider to take the witness stand. Last year, the government headed off with Lon Monk. By comparison, Harris has more Boy Scout qualities, giving off an aura of someone trying to do the right thing while having a boss he couldn't quite control. Monk, on the other hand, had admitted to taking cash bribes from Rezko. Harris was arrested the same day as Rod Blagojevich. He's pleaded guilty.

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Blagojevich stood up and watched solemnly while his jury filed in, with three men next to each other in the jury box and 15 women filing in after them. After they were seated, Blagojevich sat down, hands folded, and looked them over.

The 12 jurors and 6 alternates have been sworn in and opening statements are about to start.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton delivered the prosecution's opening statement last summer and will probably do so again now. During last year's statement, Hamilton began with the story of Blagojevich's alleged shakedown of Children's Memorial Hospital and moved from there to stories about the AUSL School, the Illinois Tollway and finally to the charges relating to President Obama's vacated Senate seat and the FBI recordings.

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Finally, a jury of 12 regular jurors and six alternates has been selected in former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's retrial.
If the jurors are seated in order, just one man will be among the 12 regular jurors. Even if they're not, it's a female-heavy panel -- out of 18 people, just three of them are male. It's tough to know who that benefits, but defense lawyers with experience with jury selection have said that female jurors are good for Blagojevich, arguing that men don't like him.

Here's the jury, selected in this order:

103 A female bartender, Juror 103 has also worked at a database management company and said she's a "weekend warrior" when it comes to a sideline photography gig. She said she remembers last trial's verdict, but not much else: the televisions at work are normally tuned to sports channels.

120 This juror is a young woman who administers pensions, she said. In her spare time, she likes to hang out with her kids.

124 This woman used to work for a food service. A widow, she said she likes to listen to classical music. Her father served in the Navy.

125 This woman knows how to weld horseshoes together and worked for 23 years as a computer technician for a junior college. She likes photography and spending time outdoors.

131 This woman moved from California to Chicago because "you follow your love sometimes," she told the judge. A dietician, she works for a food company with a focus on bananas, and said she recalled parts of last year's trial.

132 This middle-aged woman reads her local paper and helps run a small video store. She said she sometimes watches Judge Judy, and Zagel warned her that the case would likely not be so dramatic. She has no preconceptions about the case.

136 This female juror, an African American, used to serve in the Navy and said she didn't pay attention to last summer's trial. Her child once visited a doctor at Children's Memorial Hospital. A part-time caterer, she's hoping to go into nursing, she told the judge.

140 A third and fourth grade teacher who said she loves her job, this juror usually just reads headlines in the Daily Herald. She's acted as a learning coach to other teachers, but wasn't a supervisor.

142 This juror does sterilization and lab work for a dental office in her brother's practice, a job she's been doing for the last nine years after raising her children. She's served on a jury multiple times in the county where she lives.

146 This middle-aged woman has been practicing music since she was in junior high, and worked as a choral director until her recent retirement. She said she believes most politicians are good and said "since public officials are human, some may consider their own interests, and you'd hope that they would place their duties of office first."

149 This 40-something mother of three was recently laid off from her job as director of marketing and sales for a manufacturing company, a field she's worked in for most of her life. She didn't care, one way or the other, about the last trial, and told Zagel she could be a fair juror.

174 This father of two with a slight Boston accent said from what he read, "I figured he was possibly guilty, but that was just a guess." It's an opinion he said he could put aside, though that didn't stop the defense from trying to kick him off for cause. He works in a distribution company and reads the Chicago Tribune on Sundays.

If seated in order, these are the alternates:

179 This librarian has a master's degree in library science and does social networking for the small- or medium-sized library where she works. She likes to swim and knit, and said she read up on Blagojevich after she got the summons because she was curious.

181 This older female said she didn't form an opinion on Blagojevich because she didn't care much about the news. She's been retired for almost a year and donates to Goodwill and her church.

184 This 30-something male service representative for McDonald's Corp. talks to employees around the country about their benefits and used to work for the Chicago Park District as a lifeguard.

190 This woman's husband did some campaign work for Blagojevich when he was running for congressman, but doesn't talk about it much and said he only met Blagojevich once or twice. She has an accounting degree and works between technology and corporate departments at her company. The couple have two kids ages 9 and 6 and sometimes tune into The Daily Show and The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

191 This mother of three's youngest is about to graduate high school. The former PTA vice-president is active in her Greek Orthodox church and only reads a little news, though she's skeptical of politicians.

192 This juror said he doesn't believe everything he reads. He makes aerosol cans and used to work in a steel factory. He said he spends much of his time chasing after his three young children.

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Judge James Zagel denied a motion by the defense to scrap the jury and start over, saying that if the jury pool was contaminated, it was mostly because Blagojevich wouldn't stop talking to the media and "invited juror opinion."

"He was asking them to have an opinion, and I think under these circumstances much of the dilemma he faces here was created by himself," Zagel said.

He added that jurors who were grouped with Juror 101 (who told a radio station she thought other jurors were biased) were largely excused for cause because they had strong opinions.

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