Judge in Rod Blagojevich Case Sets Hearing Date for Releasing Jurors' Names

After dismissing jurors for lunch, Zagel held a brief hearing on the unresolved question of whether he must make public their names while the trial is ongoing. Nothing was resolved and won’t be until probably July 23, when he indicated he might set a full-blown hearing on the issue.

Zagel did take the opportunity, however, to relate a rundown of the kind of negative input about Blagojevich that flowed in through the judge's e-mail before the trial began and prompted him to promise prospective jurors that he wouldn’t reveal identities of those picked until a verdict was reached.

Three e-mails, the judge said, “reflected on the core idea that the writers hoped voters who voted for the defendant Rod Blagojevich sat on the jury so they could atone for their sins.”

Judge James Zagel said he will hold a hearing on July 23rd to take up the issue of whether to release the names of jurors in the case.

Zagel had denied the request. But the U.S. Seventh Circuit court of Appeals put the issue back before him and said he had to hold a hearing.