Former Blago lawyer: jurors pay attention to media coverage

April 20, 2011

Download Story

Jury selection in the trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich gets underway Wednesday.  Potential jurors in the case will be in the federal building filling out questionnaires.  The questions are intended weed out jurors who might be biased - for example, jurors who know one of the witnesses.

Most jurors will know about the case but once they're picked for jury duty, they are supposed to avoid media coverage. But Michael Ettinger says that doesn't happen. 

He represented Blagojevich's brother, Robert, in the first trial.  "I mean they watch T.V.  If they don't, their husband, their wife, their brother, their sister, 'Oh you're sitting on that jury?'  I mean, it's gonna happen and anyone who doesn't think that those jurors know what's being said, shouldn't be defending criminal cases," said Ettinger.

He says Sam Adam, Sr. and his son, Sam Adam, Jr., Blagojevich's lawyers from the first trial, knew that and "played it like a Stradivarius."