Former Governor Rod Blagojevich could find a sliver of hope for a retrial today when his attorneys reportedly will file post-trial motions.
Or maybe not.
Defense attorneys are set to file procedural petitions that will lay the groundwork for filing either for a mistrial or a appeal. Most indications point toward an appeal.
They may however file for a mistrial on the basis of a perceived bias from Judge Zagel. Recently James Matsumoto, the jury foreman from the first Blagojevich trial, spoke with students at the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
“During deliberation it came out that they, a few of the jurors, did not like the way that the judge treated the defense attorneys,” Matsumoto said.
During the second trial the defense attorneys seemed just as frustrated with Zagel as the jury in the first trial. They claimed that if they had been able to play all the tapes they wished to play, Blagojevich would be acquitted. Without question this will play a major role in any motion for mistrial or appeal.
Further testimony from jurors in the second trial could bolster the defense’s case. Weeks ago the defense filed to receive access to the jurors prior to the filing of any post-trial motions.
Because Blagojevich took the stand in the second trial, the jury was able to witness more of the interaction between the former governor and Judge Zagel. If any of the jurors felt there was a bias against Blagojevich it could only help the defense during the appeal process.
Post-trial motions are expected to be filed this afternoon or late this evening.