Jury selection slow for Blagojevich

CHICAGO, April 27 (UPI) -- Most prospective jurors for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's retrial on corruption charges say they know something about the case.

Those called for the panel Wednesday included a woman whose husband volunteered for one of Blagojevich's congressional campaigns, the Chicago Tribune reported. On Tuesday, a prospective juror said he had downloaded an excerpt from a profanity-laced government recording of Blagojevich as a ring tone on his cellphone and was allowed to remain on the panel.


U.S. District Judge James Zagel said he has not yet decided whether to dismiss a woman who said she has tickets to the taping of one of Oprah Winfrey's final shows.

Zagel was about three-quarters of the way Wednesday to a panel of 40 people able to serve. Prosecutors and defense lawyers would then exercise peremptory challenges.

The judge set limits on testimony Tuesday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. He told prosecutors to present less testimony on "bangles and beads," that is on Blagojevich's taste for fine clothing.

Defense lawyers were told they can only present evidence on Blagojevich signing some laws without political contributions after allegedly demanding them if the former governor testifies. Prosecutors say he signed the measures because he knew he was under investigation and want to be able to cross-examine him.


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