Jurors who dislike Blagojevich still on jury

April 22, 2011

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Gov. Blagojevich speaks in the lobby of the federal court building in downtown Chicago about jury selection in his retrial

Disliking and even distrusting former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich is not enough to disqualify jurors from his retrial.

Several who hold dim views of Blagojevich were kept on the jury after being questioned by Judge James Zagel.

Despite the high profile nature of the case, many of the potential Blagojevich jurors say they know very little about the first trial. The jurors are being kept anonymous but a man referred to as juror 121 said he clearly remembered Blagojevich from the television show "The Apprentice" but said he didn't pay too much attention to the first trial. Nonetheless, he thought the governor was lucky he didn't get convicted.

Juror 116 said he remembered that Blagojevich promised to testify in the first trial but didn't. Judge Zagel told him that the defendant has no duty to testify and told the juror that he couldn't hold that against the governor.

Juror 116 said he would try to set that idea aside but said it would still be somewhere in his mind. Zagel kept him as a potential juror anyway. He said the questions are designed to elicit just this kind of bias so that it can be addressed and corrected.

Jury selection for Blagojevich's retrial continues Monday morning.