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Lawyers Argue Over "Class" of Jurors

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Lawyers Argue Over "Class" of Jurors
Jack Higgins
Lawyers Argue Over "Class" of Jurors

AP

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrives at Federal Courthouse with his wife Patti Thursday, April 21, 2011 in Chicago. Jury selection began Wednesday, April 20. Blagojevich who was convicted of one count of lying to the FBI in his original trial, faces 20 federal counts at his second trial, including allegations that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's former Senate seat. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

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Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the Rod Blagojevich corruption trial today openly disagreed about one prospective juror.

Juror #178 was a somewhat forlorn man, on disability, who said he spends most days watching reruns of old TV shows like the Beverly Hillbillies.  He lives in his uncle's house, and admitted he was once arrested for burglarizing a boxcar.  He also confessed he once stabbed his own brother, but said it was in self defense.

The government  wanted him out.  Prosecutor Reid Schar argued the man hid things on his jury questionairre, that he was financially unstable, that he seemed extremely nervous, and may be someone who could not get along with the other jurors.

Defense lawyer Sheldon Sorosky vehemently objected.  He said Schar was opposing #178 because he "would not be in a Norman Rockwell painting."

"He certainly is very honest," Sorosky said.  "We have developed a class standard if we say this man cannot serve. ... Maybe Mr. Schar wants the king's soldiers!"

Zagel said in this juror he saw someone who was trying "as hard as he could," but was detached from society. 

He excused the man for cause.
 

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