As pointed out earlier this week by reporter Bob Secter, who is covering the Rod Blagojevich retrial, the jury foreman for the former governor's first trial returned Tuesday to get a different perspective on the sequel. What a difference a retrial makes.
Last summer, James Matsumoto, a retired video librarian for WTTW-TV, was sitting in the jury box, first as a prospective juror being questioned by U.S. District Judge James Zagel and later as a member of the panel that ultimately deadlocked on all but one of the criminal counts against the former governor.
As jury selection in the retrial continued for a third day, Matsumoto turned up in the spectator’s gallery mostly, he said, to satisfy his curiosity and witness the process of picking jurors from a different perspective.
“I feel there’s unfinished business for me that we were meant to conclude,” Matsumoto told reporters outside the courtroom.
Neither has the work ended for our reporters, News Apps team and Metropolitan editors.
Bob Secter and Jeff Coen have returned to cover the federal courthouse. Annie Sweeney joins them this time around, and editor Matt O'Connor -- an old hand at Chicago's federal courthouse -- will again sit in the editor's seat.
Blagojevich’s first trial received saturation media coverage and that has continued in the run-up to the retrial. Even Judge James Zagel has been questioning prospective jurors in more detail, often probing about what they’d heard about the case and -- in particular -- the first trial, which ended in a deadlock on most charges.
-- James Janega
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