Blagojevich’s Lawyer Vows to Go To Jail Over Closing Argument

Sam Adam Jr. is under a threat of jail from Judge James B. Zagel in the trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Zagel has ruled that Adam cannot refer to witnesses whom the government conspicuously did not call to trial — even though prosecutors referred to non-appearing witnesses. Adam said he was prepared to go to jail over the issue.

Zagel has hit the defense with a series of tough rulings — some of which I disagree with. This one is particularly curious. While you cannot refer to a defendant’s failure to testify under a claim of privilege, I do not understand why a defendant cannot refer to the failure of other witnesses to appear.

Prosecutors referred to the failure of convicted fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko to appear. Yet, Adam is barred from referring to other witnesses who were left out of the trial. Judges are increasingly micromanaging trials — barring defenses and references before the jury. I have long been a critic of this trend. There may be more to this ruling, but it seems highly problematic. Previously, Zagel curtailed testimony on President Obama’s knowledge and role in the case.

Blagojevich, 53, is facing $6 million in fines and a sentence of 415 years in prison. One would think he would be given a bit of latitude in his own defense.

Source: AP

30 thoughts on “Blagojevich’s Lawyer Vows to Go To Jail Over Closing Argument”

  1. TomDarch:

    I dont like Che, more of a Trotsky man myself. Che, Castro, Mao, Stalin all blood thirsty hooligans.

  2. Andy B is only “overwhelmingly” wrong, not “completely” wrong. I didn’t say that Obama was squeaky clean, rather that he limited his associations with the slime as much as possible. But the reality is that Obama’s allies and supporters are/were at the opposite end of the corruption spectrum from Blago (and Dick Mel, for that matter.)

    When you’re smart enough to be the president of the Harvard Law Review, you’re operating at a whole different level of intelligence than pretty much everyone in Chicago/Illinois politics. It really isn’t surprising in the slightest that, with a little luck, an exceptionally smart, ambitious and charismatic person could rise quickly in Chicago/Illinois politics. Obama had lots of help, but not necessarily based on corruption. Anyone with half a brain (and that rules out lots of our politicians) would want to be on his coattails.

    That said, I’d be willing to bet that Andy B. knows about as much about Chicago and Illinois politics as does any given Faux News viewer in a trailer in Alabama.

    I live and work in the city, and I’m a fourth generation in-the-city Chicagoan. I’ve worked on anti-machine political campaigns. My grandfather ran for alderman as an anti-Daley/machine candidate, which was an exercise in futility to begin with. But it was all downhill when the FBI stepped in to out him as a “red” and a “commie sympathizer”, which he was. They even went so far as to post g-men to overtly “stake out” his home. Considering a large slice of the Chicago mafia lived in the surrounding blocks, and the FBI couldn’t be bothered with them, this was one hell of an act of intimidation.

    So I know a little about Chicago politics, and I know a little about the hope to clean up politics from a leftist perspective. So far, Andy B’s total lack of specifics makes him sound like he doesn’t know squat.

    I wonder if Andy B. would continue to sport Che Guevara t-shirts if he were to be “sent a message” by a couple of thick-necked feds in a dark alley.

  3. I know I’m coming on this thread a bit late, but one of the commentors used the word Kafkaesque and I can’t help thinking that perfectly describes the final rebuttal when the prosecutor Schar told the jury that they must infer from the conversations between Blagojevich and others something which is not there. Or maybe I am thinking Orwellian.

  4. I’ve known of Zagel, the judge, and watched his work for a LONG time… He WILL put this clown lawyer in PRISON and have burgers that evening and talk about screenplays… He is ONE tough judge. Fair, down the center and DOES NOT tolerate BS – AT ALL.

    So, Sam…keep it up.. you;ll be in Cook County lock up so fast you will not know what hit you..Guaranteed…

  5. Bonnie,

    If it involves money or public trust, you are likely to go away for a long, long time. Just as if you robbed a bank.

    Now people who abuse children which are then scarred for the rest of their lives unless it involves rape or murder receive relatively light sentences.

    Its kind of funny most were concerned about a banks failure more so than the mental health of the people making up a majority of this country. Hence, people screw em unless they have money or screwed you over money.

  6. Question for the professor: How is it that Blago can be sentenced to 415 years; and, yet, Joseph Steinberg was recently released even though he brutally beat a 6 year old child, Lisa Steinberg, to death. I do not understand such inequities in punishments. Why are the lives of children worth so little?

  7. You know, this crap is getting old fast. The Tea Baggers and so called Marxists can claim “stuff” all day, but the facts are tough things for them to get around. Obama was not involved in Chicago politics. By the way, is Chicago politics any dirtier than NYC or Atlanta or LA or Dallas?
    On the issue at hand, I have not had any significant experience in criminal law, but I would think that what is good for the goose is good for the gander when it comes to remarks by either the prosecution or the defense.

  8. yes conservatives have screwed up the country and so have democrats. I for one am a Marxist and would like to see one get elected. The republicans aren’t even good capitalists and the democrats are inept at implementing Marxism. They spout their pearls of wisdom about social justice but wouldn’t know a dialectic from a materialist. I cant decide who is less smart, an inept capitalist or an incompetent Marxist.

    The democrats have 2 houses of congress and the presidency and yet they cant even get a decent health care bill passed. So I will have to say that incompetent Marxists are less bright.

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