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Zagel Dismisses Few Potential Jurors

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Zagel Dismisses Few Potential Jurors
Jack Higgins

Some say they aren't crazy about the political system.  Many know very little about the defendant they may be asked to judge.

One just wants to keep a date with Oprah.

Slowly and methodically, Rod Blagojevich's second jury is taking shape.  The court needs a pool of 40 potential candidates.  As court adjourned for the day Tuesday, unofficially 26 had made the list.

Among those eliminated were a house painter who said on his questionnaire that "most politicians are full of it"; a Chicago Tribune staffer who said he has spent a lot of time at his job forming opinions about the case; and an accountant with an MBA who is about to start a new job, after being unemployed for 16 months.

A psychotherapist was dismissed after he told the judge that some of his patients might take their own lives if he wasn't available.  Another man said the consequences for his advertising business would be disastrous if he served.  Besides, he said, he generally believed that politicians shouldn't be trusted.

One woman, a dental assistant and newlywed, said she feared she and her husband would not be able to make their mortgage payments if she was forced to sit on the jury.  She was excused.

Juror number 137 brought the most vexing issue if all:  she has four tickets to one of Oprah Winfrey's last tapings, May 10.

For now she's still in the pool.  But, mindful of the potential distraction, the judge suggested, some accommodation might be reached.

Read more in the Blagojevich Trial Journal.

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