Ward Room
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Blago Retrial: Daily Journal 5/2



    Scott Olson, Getty Images
    Courtroom artist Verna Sadock (L) shows former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich a painting she made of him as he leaves the federal courthouse after a day of jury selection for his re-trial April 21, 2011 in Chicago.

    Follow Ward Room on Twitter to keep up-to-date with action in the courtroom.

    What to Expect Today:

    Twelve jurors and six alternates need to be picked among a pool of 45 candidates questioned and chosen throughout last week. Judge James Zagel said he wants opening statements to begin immediately after lawyers agree on jurors. Zagel previously wanted the jury sat last Wednesday.

    Today's Journal: 

    3:09 p.m. -- Prosecutor Chris Niewoehner begins opening statements. Some highlights: 

    "This case is about a governor who betrayed the people of Illinois."

    "Instead of doing what is best for the state of Illinois, the defendant decided to do what was best for one person -- himself!"

    1:19 p.m. Jury is seated. Fifteen females and three males will decide Blagojevich's fate in his corruption retrial. [Meet the jury here ... ]

    12:49 p.m. -- In response to claims from Blagojevich's lawyers that the former governor can't get a fair jury in Chicago, Judge Zagel said it's Blago's fault for tainting potential jurors with extensive public comments. [Read more here ... ]

    12:32 p.m. -- Court still on hold.

    10:58 a.m. -- Court still not in session. In addition to their request to start over on jury selection, the defense has proposed moving the trial to Hammond, Ind., where the jury pool would include a group "less hostile to Blagojevich."

    10:39 a.m. -- Lawyers are in judge's chambers, court delayed.

    8:40 a.m. -- Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich file a motion asking for the jury pool to be dismissed and recast after news that potential jurors were discussing the case amongst themselves. [Read story here ... ]

    Previous Journals:

    Thursday, April 28, 2011 -- Questioning Continues

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 -- 6 Jurors Left to Question?

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 -- Opening Statements Likely Monday

    Monday, April 25, 2011
    -- Jury Selection Resumes

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 -- Jurors Questioned

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 -- Welcome to the Retrial