From Chicago: Blagojevich draws gag warning

Blagojevich draws gag warning

Chicago Sun-Times, by Natasha Korecki & Sarah Ostman

Original Article,CST-NWS-blago17.article

Posted: 6/17/2010 3:05:43 PM

A federal judge could cut off Rod Blagojevich’s daily blurts outside of court if the former governor doesn’t tone it down, U.S. District Judge James Zagel cautioned Wednesday. The warning came on the same day of dramatic testimony that included the mention of a straw donation into the campaign fund of Barack Obama, back when he was running for the U.S. Senate. Zagel fell short of slapping a muzzle on the blabby Blagojevich, calling a gag order a last resort.

Is the fix in on this trial or what? Sounds like it is to me and tells us why 0bama really had to visit Chicago just before this trial started, to play Chicago’s version of ‘‘The Price is Right.’’

Please gag him!! Please! Please!! Pleeeez!!!:clapping:

That judge should have no say over the man’s ability to speak outside the courtroom.

Really? Gag orders are unconstitutional now?

Unless there is intimidation (I’m talking threats) towards a jury member or witness, I’m not in favor of them. As for constitutionality, well that means whatever 9 people believe it means. Personally, I don’t believe it is constitutional.

I think it goes beyond threats. Any attempts to influence the jury would be reason enough. Granted, they are supposed to avoid any media, but if they hear people talking about it…

Ain’t that the truth!

Hmmm…I hadn’t thought much about it, and I’m not sure I think it should be prohibited. It certainly shouldn’t be the norm. But if we can have reasonable restrictions on speech (the ol’ “Fire!” in a theater), would this be a reasonable one?

This is the real world; of course, they are going to hear about a big case. The specter of a jury member hearing something should not trump a citizen’s right to speak his or her mind. I like what Mark Twain said about our so called jury system.

I’m heavily paraphrasing:

So we must get someone that does not know about the case or has any feelings on the case despite it being in all the newspapers, talked about on street corners, in government halls, and in bars. If this person has heard information, he/she must not have already drawn any conclusions. So the person we’re looking for is essentially an illiterate, unsociable hermit, that is unable to think rationally about the issues of the day. And they call a collection of these oddball fools a “jury of my peers”!

That’s a great point. I admit I hadn’t thought much about the legality (or even practicality) of gag orders. But since they seem to have existed unmolested, I presume they were beneficial in some degree. But perhaps it is the opposite: they just aren’t harmful enough for anyone to bother challenging them.

I must admit, I think I had my mind changed on something. :smiley:

(As an aside, off topic note, I found myself not liking Twain as much after I became Catholic. His writings are antagonistic to the church–try A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court–and as such I’ve had trouble even stomaching his stuff. But he does have a lot of wit.)

Yeah, he even gets downright insulting when he writes a tale about visiting heaven. I think it was called Captain Stormfield’s visit to heaven. I guess I just manage to compartmentalize his views toward religion when I read his stuff. That’s a bit of a cheap way out for me but oh well.

Oddly enough, he was a big believer in holding Seances (man, that spelling looks wacky). He held several of them at his house, and I’m talking the whole sit in a circle, lock hands, and call forth a spirit(s). I don’t recall if he or his wife and friends ever saw anything.

Personally I think the notion that jurors absolutely must avoid ALL news reports or discussion of a trial case on the grounds that it will compromise their ability to reach an “objective” judgment is a bit exaggerated, and in high-profile cases such as this, virtually impossible to maintain.

I understand the judge not wanting them to base their judgment purely on what they hear or see on the news, but that’s what defense attorneys are for – to bring out the other side of the story. The only alternative is sequestering the jury, which would be a much greater expense to the court not to mention a hardship to jurors, especially in a trial as long and complicated as this (most observers expect this trial to go on well into the fall).

As for Mark Twain, while he was antagonistic toward religion to an extent he did write a biography of St. Joan of Arc that I have seen offered for sale by Catholic publishers, and even used in Catholic homeschool curriculums.

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