Follow Ward Room on Twitter to keep up-to-date with action in the courtroom.
What to Expect Today:
Questioning of potential jurors begins. Judge James Zagel is expected to question potential jurors in open court.
The Day's Updates:
6:00 p.m. -- Questioning of potential jurors continues. Twenty-two of them have already been questioned. Court will not be in session Friday, so the process will continue on Monday.
4:00 p.m. -- Trial consultant and jury expert Bill Healy speaks with Phil Rogers about the difficulty in finding appropriate jurors and the type of people the defense and prosecution teams are seeking. [Watch Video...]
3:00 p.m. -- One potential juror said he was disappointed that Blagojevich didn't take the stand in his last trial after repeatedly stating he would. He said it would be on his mind if the trial concluded again without the former governor speaking.
1:08 p.m. -- Some notes on jurors:
Juror 101 is a white female. She said she had no knowledge of the first trial.
Juror 102 is a black male. "In my eyes, everybody's guilty," he said. His son is a murder victim.
Juror 104 is a white female: "I thought, based on what I heard, he was guilty," she said.
Juror 110 is a white male: "Most politicians are corrupt in one way or another," he said, adding that he does not hold Blagojevich "in high regard."
Judge Zagel reminds potential jurors that "we fought a revolution so you could sit here today."
"Jury service represents the faith of democracy, that we are competent to govern ourselves," he said.
12:15 p.m. -- Lunch break. Eight potential jurors have been questioned so far. Two did not show up for service and "will be dealth with."
11:45 a.m. -- Ward Room blogger Ted McClelland says Blagojevich should not be made a scapegoat regarding corruption in Illinois. [Read More...]
10:43 a.m. -- Zagel says one particularly "embittered" potential juror ultimately won't be seated [Natasha Korecki reports in the Chicago Sun-Times...]
10:25 a.m. -- After going through security, reporters lob questions at the former governor. He refuses to answer, saying "Can't!... Higher power," while pointing toward the ceiling. It appears to be a reference to Zagel, who has warned Blagojevich to keep a check on his public comments.
10 a.m. -- Blagojevich arrives at the Dirksen Federal Building. He signs an autograph but ignores questions about how he's feeling or how he slept the night before. [Read More...]
9:33 a.m. -- Rod Blagojevich leaves his Ravenswood home and heads to the courthouse. Prior to getting into his car, he tells reporters that he looks forward to "the vindication I deserve and that I owe to the people of Illinois." He also quotes Henry V. [Watch Video...]
Wednesday, April 20, 2011