Blago juror names under wrap until day after trial

AP News
Posted: Mar 01, 2011 7:11 PM
Blago juror names under wrap until day after trial

A federal judge says the names of jurors in the retrial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich won't be released until the day after the proceedings end.

Media groups criticized Judge James Zagel's ruling, saying it undermines reporters' role in shedding light on the judicial process

Zagel has chastised reporters for what he calls "harassment" of jurors after the first trial that ended largely deadlocked.

Blagojevich's retrial starts April 20. The former governor, who denies wrongdoing, again faces charges including that he tried to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat.

At his first trial the jurors' identities were kept secret until just after the verdict. One media expert says jurors should quickly talk with reporters at the courthouse right after the trial.