CHICAGO, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Chicago said he is considering offering no trespassing signs to jurors in the upcoming retrial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
In a hearing Thursday, U.S. District Judge James Zagel at one point called the news media "rapacious" in their pursuit of jurors following the verdict in Blagojevich's first corruption trial, the Chicago Tribune reported.
"We have clear evidence that some members of the media will disregard the ordinary rights of citizens … to get the story," Zagel said.
Zagel made the comments at a hearing where attorneys for news organizations complained about his proposed restrictions.
Lucy Dalglish, executive director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said providing no trespassing signs to jurors to post outside their homes could discourage people from serving on juries.
"Passing out signs is signaling to them the media is going to make your life miserable," Dalglish said. "I don't think that should be his role."
Dalglish suggested a post-trial news conference although jurors would have no obligation to attend. Zagel provided a room for jurors to meet with the media following the first trial but none participated.
Zagel said he was concerned by alleged media activity following that trial where one reporter allegedly rang a juror's doorbell every half hour and a helicopter hovered over another juror's home.
Jurors deadlocked on 23 counts in Blagojevich's first trial, finding him guilty of one count of lying to the FBI.
Blagojevich's retrial is scheduled to start April 20.