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|Blagojevich's Media Appearances Likely Won't Affect Jury Selection
|(IRN)-Will media appearances by ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich, and his first trial, have an impact on the jurors who will hear the retrial?
With jury selection slated to begin Wednesday, University of Illinois professor of law Steven Beckett believes that any media appearances made by Blagojevich up to this point haven't done the former governor well.
"Any influence he's had over the jury pool in my estimation has been negative," Beckett said. "He's a joke. He's national joke. He's a joke in Illinois. It wouldn't be surprising to see problems in jury selection because of not only the prior trial but his big mouth. It'll be fun to watch I guess."
As for the how Blagojevich's lawyers handle the second trial, Beckett says it may boil down to a concept of "good faith."
"Somehow they have to argue that the governor relied on advisors," Beckett said. "It seems to me they have to do something different.'
That was part of the strategy in Blagojevich's first trial, but could take center stage in the retrial. Beckett says it may make sense to call Blagojevich to the stand. He did not testify in the first trial.
"One wonders how they lassoed him and held him down the last time because he's obviously the kind of guy who is sort of full of himself and a defense lawyer's nightmare, I think, because on the one hand he could be charming and a good witness, but on the other hand, how would he survive cross-examination?," Beckett said. "I think those are pretty tough calls for defense lawyers." Beckett says ultimately, it is up to Blagojevich to decide if he will testify.
A number of racketeering charges against Blagojevich have been dropped by the prosecution in an attempt to shorten the trial, as well as to not confuse jurors. Blagojevich is accused of scheming to sell a U.S. Senate appointment and shaking down people for campaign cash. He was found guilty of just one of 24 counts in his first trial; lying to the FBI.
(Source: Illinois Radio News)
|04 18 11 by Newsroom
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