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Blagojevich trial begins with jury questions

Posted by wlpo on April 20, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) – Jury selection has begun for ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s second corruption trial.

Potential jurors started filling out questionnaires Wednesday that are meant to help weed out anyone with strong biases for or against Blagojevich.

The first trial ended with jurors deadlocked on all but one count of lying to the FBI. Federal prosecutors have since simplified their case to address previous jurors’ complaints that the evidence was too difficult to follow.

The 54-year-old faces 20 charges, including accusations he sought to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat for campaign cash or a top job.

Blagojevich doesn’t have to be at the courthouse for the very beginning of jury selection. But he’ll be called in whenever the judge begins questioning potential jurors individually.

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