WBEZ | jury selection http://www.wbez.org/tags/jury-selection Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Questionnaires to would-be jurors in Hudson case http://www.wbez.org/news/criminal-justice/questionnaires-would-be-jurors-hudson-case-97949 <p><p>Potential jurors will start filling out questionnaires that'll help determine if they're fit to sit in judgment of a man accused in the 2008 slayings of celebrity Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.</p><p>At least 100 people are expected to pick up forms Thursday. Jury selection gets under way in earnest Monday when a judge starts questioning jurors one by one.</p><p>Trial testimony is slated to begin April 23.</p><p>Defendant William Balfour is the estranged husband of Hudson's sister. Prosecutors allege he shot the family in a jealous rage because Julia Hudson was dating another man.</p><p>Jennifer Hudson won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2007 for her role in <em>Dreamgirls</em>. She won a Grammy for best R&amp;B album the same year of the killings.</p></p> Thu, 05 Apr 2012 09:17:43 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/criminal-justice/questionnaires-would-be-jurors-hudson-case-97949 Blago Defense: Not enough blacks in jury pool http://www.wbez.org/story/blago-defense-not-enough-blacks-jury-85822 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-28/AP080506020298-blago Charles Rex Arbogast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Defense attorneys for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich say they're concerned there won't be many people of color on the jury.&nbsp; The holdout juror in Blagojevich's first trial was African American.<br> <br> Many potential jurors have told the judge they think Blagojevich is guilty, but they stay on the jury for his retrial if they convince him that they can set their opinions to the side.&nbsp; One woman, an African-American, wrote on her questionnaire that she believed Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty.&nbsp; The defense hoped to keep her on, but the prosecution sought to have her excused because she runs a business driving people to medical appointments and it would suffer if she had to take two months off for the trial.<br> <br> Blagojevich attorney Sheldon Sorosky told the judge that it seemed like all the people of color are being excused.&nbsp; But Judge James Zagel pointed to the woman's questionnaire where she said she was trying to build up the business because her sons have felony records and they'll always need a place to work.&nbsp; Zagel excused her.&nbsp; Of the 45 people still in the jury pool, fewer than five are black.</p></p> Fri, 29 Apr 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/blago-defense-not-enough-blacks-jury-85822 Blago juror with Oprah tix excused http://www.wbez.org/story/blago-juror-oprah-tix-excused-85777 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-27/AP090127011782-blago Richard Drew.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A potential juror who has tickets to see a taping of the Oprah Winfrey show has been excused from jury duty in the Blagojevich case.&nbsp; She was concerned that the trial would interfere with the taping, though there could be other reasons that the judge excused her.</p><p>Blagojevich said he was happy that she wouldn't have to go through the trial, and said he was jealous.&nbsp;</p><p>"I'm very happy that that juror was dismissed from the jury pursuant to her request so that she can actually go and do what is a once-in-a-lifetime thing and that is see the Oprah Winfrey Show," he said.&nbsp;</p><p>Blagojevich then walked away from the microphones, but a reporter asked if he thought the Oprah tickets were golden.&nbsp; Blagojevich stopped and smiled, and after a pause, he walked back to the microphones and said, "No.&nbsp; I would say they're F-ing golden."&nbsp;</p><p>That's a reference to a phone conversation he had that was secretly recorded by federal agents.&nbsp; On the call he referred to his ability to appoint someone to Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat as a thing that was "f***ing golden."</p><p>So far 100 potential jurors have been questioned to see if they're able to give Blagojevich a fair trial.&nbsp; About sixty have been "struck for cause."&nbsp; Jury selection continues Thursday.&nbsp; It will be the sixth day, including the day one on which potential jurors filled out a 38-page questionnaire.&nbsp; Opening statements are expected Monday.</p></p> Thu, 28 Apr 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/blago-juror-oprah-tix-excused-85777 Blagojevich jury duty conflicting with Oprah show http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-jury-duty-conflicting-oprah-show-85663 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-25/AP05051105066- Seth Perlman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A potential juror in the trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has tickets to a taping of the Oprah show and she's worried she won't be able to go if she's sitting in a federal courtroom hearing the Blagojevich case.&nbsp; Judge James Zagel said she'll survive missing the show, but her status is still up in the air.&nbsp; If she is picked for the jury, Zagel hasn't ruled out altering the court schedule to accomodate her.</p><p>So far, about two dozen potential jurors have made the cut to be on the jury.&nbsp; Zagel is looking to seat 12 jurors, plus six alternates, but that means he actually needs 40 qualified jurors because attorneys from both sides get to strike a certain number of people from the jury.&nbsp;</p><p>Many potential jurors have argued that they're not qualified to be in the pool of 40.&nbsp; They say sitting on the jury would be so hard on them economically that they wouldn't be able to focus, and therefore they wouldn't be fair.&nbsp; Others say they've already made up their mind about Blagojevich.<br> <br> <br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 00:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-jury-duty-conflicting-oprah-show-85663 Judge to Blagojevich jury: You don't have to like him http://www.wbez.org/story/judge-blagojevich-jury-you-dont-have-him-85524 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-21/Blago 110421_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Attorneys in the Blagojevich retrial will continue vetting jurors this morning.&nbsp; The jurors have already filled out a 38-page questionnaire, but now they'll come into court to undergo further questioning by Judge James Zagel.&nbsp; He's asking them what they think about politics and politicians, whether they think politicians act in their own self interest or reward their contributors.&nbsp; Zagel asks them if they can set aside their preconceived notions to answer whether an individual politician broke specific laws.&nbsp; And he asks them if they could separate their dislike of politicians in general, or their dislike of Blagojevich in particular, from the very specific question of whether he broke any federal laws.<br> <br> Several potential jurors say they hold Blagojevich in low esteem, or think he got lucky by avoiding conviction in his first trial, though Blagojevich was convicted on one count.&nbsp; Zagel says it's going to be very hard to find jurors in the area who haven't heard of the case but he's asking them if they can set aside what they already know and base their decision solely on the evidence presented in court.</p></p> Mon, 25 Apr 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/judge-blagojevich-jury-you-dont-have-him-85524 Jurors who dislike Blagojevich still on jury http://www.wbez.org/story/jurors-who-dislike-blagojevich-still-jury-85523 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-21/Blago 110421.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Disliking and even distrusting former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich is not enough to disqualify jurors from his retrial.</p><p>Several who hold dim views of Blagojevich were kept on the jury after being questioned by Judge James Zagel.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>Jury selection for Blagojevich's retrial continues Monday morning.</p></p> Fri, 22 Apr 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/jurors-who-dislike-blagojevich-still-jury-85523 Blagojevich jury to be questioned http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-jury-be-questioned-85469 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-20/AP00022001236 Seth Perlman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Judge James Zagel is expected to start questioning potential jurors Thursday for the retrial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. More than a hundred potential jurors showed up to federal court Wednesday to fill out a 38-page questionnaire meant to weed out people who are biased either for or against Blagojevich.<br> <br> On Thursday morning Zagel will likely start calling them into the courtroom one at a time to ask for clarification on some of those answers. It's a chance for the prosecutors and defense attorneys to see the jurors in person and size them up. Blagojevich is also expected to attend.<br> <br> A courthouse spokesman says Zagel hopes to have a jury picked by next Wednesday, which would allow attorneys to then make their opening statements.</p></p> Thu, 21 Apr 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-jury-be-questioned-85469