The Illinois Broadcasters' Association, Illinois Press Association, the Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times, had intervened in the case, arguing that the jurors' names should be revealed immediately, citing the debacle which occurred during the trial of former governor George Ryan, where some jurors were determined to have hidden criminal histories.
Zagel based his ruling on concerns that members of the general public, bloggers, and others might attempt to contact the jurors. He also noted that he had told the jurors that he would not reveal their names, and didn't want to betray that trust at this late hour of the trial.
He felt he had some legitimate concern about the degree to which some correspondents might attempt to reach parties in the case, including the jury he himself has received some rather unique inquiries.
He attached several to his ruling:
VOICE MAIL TRANSCRIPT:
(expletive) you, Judge Zagel. You (expletive) (expletive) arrogant (expletive) (expletive) mother (expletive). (expletive) you, (expletive) you, James B. Zagel. (expletive) you.
LETTER ON COUNTERFEIT WHITE HOUSE LETTERHEAD (postmarked in Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Dear friend Judge Zagel:
This is a notice of my president executive powers. I'm giving notice that the Rod Blagojevich trial will be dismissed without further proceedings. Case is permanently closed. That is my executive order, and a non-changeable order at that.
I have a judge I think by Blagojevich however I don't have your name. I am IAM, King of Japan and are eager to get to my home and places. I use Selena Erika Nichole Wilson for law. I am told by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to go to the office on Randolph at the Thompson building and get my envelope, he told me what's inside it's my check for the amount $200,000.
(the author goes on to explain that when she appeared at the Thompson Center, there was no such envelope.)