Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Observing the Blagojevich trial

So, I got to observe the Rod Blagojevich trial in federal court today, which was pretty awesome. My judge sent me over, and I arrived first thing in the morning at the Dirksen courthouse.

Of course, I ran into Hot Rod's brother in the cafeteria. Then I got up to court to get my ticket and plopped down on the uncomfortable bench for the next 8 hours.

Rod was there, of course, as was his wife, brother, and team of seven defense attorneys - at least, that's how many I heard there are. I actually went to law school with one of them! Crazy!

I farted around in court with some sketches of Hot Rod; apparently these made me a minor celebrity in my row. I was paying attention, but it was a long time to sit around and listen, especially during the repetitive attorney questioning.

I personally like this rather abstract one:

In court today, Doug Scofield testified about the various tapes that have been recorded of his November 2008 phone conversations with Hot Rod. His conversations contained some of the more inflammatory statements printed in the paper, such as "it's f*cking golden" and "This is a president that's all take and no give!" We got to hear lots of tapes today, and Mr. Scofield testified that Rod was "jealous and angry" that it was Barack being elected president, not him. Sigghhhhh.

If you want more info on today's hearing, click here. Rod maintained his composure, except during one excerpt, when Rod was quoted as saying, "No better or worse than I am now, right?" He gave a brief, quiet laugh to a defense attorney, clearly looking back and thinking that he certainly is worse off now, after an impeachment and federal indictment.

The jury was 18 people, which seems like a lot to me - 11 women, 7 men. To me, the judge seemed tired of the defense attorney's tactics, at one point telling him to "spare us the campaign speech." So, we know where the judge's heart lies - guess we just have to wait to see where the jury's lies.

Yes, at one point in court, I even did a sketch of the eagle. I like this little guy.

It was really interesting to get to see this in court, and I think I'll be watching the trial coverage more closely now. In a few weeks, we'll know Rod's fate. What a wild ride Illinois has been on.

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