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Blago Delay Denied, Zagel Defends Jury Selection Process

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Blago Delay Denied, Zagel Defends Jury Selection Process
Blago Delay Denied, Zagel Defends Jury Selection Process

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Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich joined 13 other celebrities on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice. Blagojevich was the fourth celebrity eliminated.

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Ready, set, arbitrate.
 
Just one day before the legal event of the season begins, lawyers on both sides of the Blagojevich trial were summoned by federal judge James B. Zagel for a pretrial huddle. 

It was a short meeting in which Zagel refused a defense request that he reconsider some jury candidates who have already been excused for hardship.

The judge explained why he decided to dismiss certain jurors, using the example of a prospective juror who is the sole practitioner at a medical office.

"It is inconceiveable to me," he said, "that putting that person out of business for 15, 16, 17 weeks, is not a hardship."

Once actual jury selection begins, he told defense attorneys "you will see the nature of the hardship claims that I did not accept!"

Jurors in the case will be paid $160 per week.

Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell President Obama's former senate seat to the highest bidder, among other things in a 24-count indictment that includes wire fraud, racketeering and attempted extortion.
 
The former governor stands by his claims of innocence.

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