Blagojevich judge denies motion for mistrial

June 10, 2011

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Jurors have completed their first day of deliberations in the re-trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Judge James Zagel says jurors have picked a foreman and chosen what hours they'll spend working on the case everyday. 

With the jury deliberating, Zagel has moved on to other cases. He spent the day presiding over the sentencing of a child pornographer. He interrupted that to hear arguments from Blagojevich's lawyers who were asking for a mistrial. But when the governor walked into the courtroom, the chair he usually sits in was already occupied by the child pornographer in an orange jumpsuit and leg shackles. Blagojevich sat in the first bench of the gallery instead.

Blagojevich's lawyers argued that Zagel was unfair to them throughout the trial. Lauren Kaeseberg said she wasn't sure if he didn't like them or didn't like their client and wondered if he had formed opinions during the first trial.

Zagel replied guilt is for juries to decide and he said, "I'm not interested in doing someone else's work."

He denied the motion for mistrial.