Blagojevich Files for New Trial
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is asking a federal judge for a new trial after being convicted last month on 17 counts of corruption, including trying to sell a vacant U.S. Senate seat.
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.
In a signed affidavit, Blagojevich stated that he only took the stand because his attorneys assured him he would be able to tell jurors he sincerely believed his actions had been legal. He added that he would not have waived his constitutional right to not testify had he known Judge James Zagel would sustain prosecutors' objections whenever he started talking about the perceived legality of his actions.
In the filing, Blagojevich's attorneys say Judge Zagel tried to read the mind of defense lawyers, limiting which topics they could and couldn't bring up. Attorneys also assert Zagel should have allowed the defense to play secretly-recorded conversations in which Blagojevich talked about appointing Attorney General Lisa Madigan to a vacant senate seat.
Defense attorneys says that prosecutors tainted the jury pool by holding a press conference the day Blagojevich was arrested.
In the filing - defense attorneys say even before the trial began - they tried to make sure people like Juror #116 didn't get on the jury. Juror #116 said he believed 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. That juror was dismissed from the jury pool.
A hearing is scheduled before the judge next week.
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)