Gag order against attorneys in William Beavers tax trial

March 13, 2013

The Associated Press

The judge in the tax-evasion trial of an influential Chicago Democrat has imposed a gag order on attorneys a day after a defense lawyer said jury-pool selection was "rigged."

The judge in William Beavers' trial on Wednesday did not refer directly to the comments made by the Cook County Commissioner's lawyer, Sam Adam Sr.

But Judge James Zagel's meaning was clear. He said statements from attorneys in public during a trial often "distracted" from "the purpose of the trial."

Adam angrily told reporters Tuesday that he was "outraged" there were no black men in the 50-person jury pool. And he suggested its composition was somehow fixed in advance.

Jury selection is done using a random system and is carried out by an independent office within the federal courthouse in Chicago.