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Judge Rules on Blagojevich Jury Names, Questionnaires

A federal judge responded this week to INBA's petition to release juror names and questionnaires in the upcoming retrial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

 

U.S. District Judge James Zagel will release the names of the Blagojevich jurors at 9:00am the day after the verdict is announced. INBA and its co-petitioners argued witholding the names violates the public interest, but Judge Zagel disagreed. In a hearing last week, the judge voiced his concern over jurors' reports of being harrassed after the first Blagojevich trial last year.

On the issue of jury questionnaires, Judge Zagel reversed his earlier plan to destoy the documents. The questionnaires, which are used during jury selection, will now be held at least until the end of the trial. Judge Zagel will decide what to do with them after the verdict.

"This information is a part of the judicial process, and we're hopeful it will be disclosed," INBA President Jennifer Fuller said. "Information about who jurors are, and how they come to their decision, helps the general public better understand the judicial system."

Blagojevich will be retried in April in Chicago.

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Jennifer Fuller INBA President WSIU Radio