Blagojevich files for new trial

July 26, 2011

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(Getty File Image/John Smierciak)

Convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is asking a federal judge for a new trial.

Blagojevich's lawyers filed a 158-page motion with 10 different categories detailing why they think the former governor didn't get a fair trial. Most of the arguments defense lawyers bring up were addressed in open court.

On page 47, they say the judge should've allowed the defense to play secretly-recorded conversations in which Blagojevich talked about appointing Attorney General Lisa Madigan to a vacant senate seat.

On page 143, they say the judge tried to read the mind of defense lawyers, limiting which topics they could bring up and which ones they couldn't.

And on page 150, they say prosecutors tainted the jury pool by holding a press conference the day Blagojevich was arrested.

Last month, Blagojevich was convicted on 17 counts of corruption, including trying to sell a vacant U.S. Senate seat.

Defense attorneys also say that before the trial began, they tried to make sure people like Juror #116 didn't get on the jury. He said he thought Blagojevich was guilty, but the judge let him pass through.

On the other hand, Blagojevich's attorneys say Juror #213 should not only have sat on the jury, but also should get an award because she said defendants are innocent until proven guilty. She was dismissed from the jury pool.

Defense attorneys put the blame on the court, saying Judge James Zagel wanted to make sure Blagojevich would be convicted. A hearing is scheduled before the judge next week.