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Judge narrows Blago jury pool to 26

April 26, 2011 4:55:48 AM PDT
Judge James Zagel said he would be flexible if a woman with Oprah show tickets was selected to serve on the jury at the second Rod Blagojevich corruption trial.

The third full day of jury selection will get under way Tuesday. So far, the jury pool has been whittled down to 26 and at least all of them have heard something about the case. The judge is trying to find 12 jurors and several alternates who can give the impeached former governor a fair trial.

One prospective juror says her impression of Blagojevich is that he was a little off center. Judge James Zagel reminded her that the defendant is not on trial for being a little off center. When asked if she could be fair, she said yes.

One potential juror told the judge that she had Oprah tickets and is worried about the trial interfering with those. The court said they would consider those Oprah tickets if she is selected to be on the jury.

Blagojevich faces 20 charges in the retrial, including accusations that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat. Blagojevich has maintained his innocence.

On Monday, prosecutors filed a motion asking to use a TV appearance against him. In 2009, he did an interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC where he said it would be wrong to trade a Senate appointment for something of value to him.

In the first trial, Blagojevich's attorneys argued he didn't know he was doing anything criminal because none of his legal advisors told him it was.


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