St. Louis Public Radio News
9:46 am
Mon July 26, 2010

Closing arguments start in Blagojevich trial

Chicago – The final act in the trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich takes place today as attorneys for both sides present their closing arguments.

Prosecutor Chris Niewohner will start the day. He needs about three hours to take jurors through the charges, and explain the law and point to the evidence showing that Blagojevich broke the law.

Then attorneys for Blagojevich's brother Robert expect to take about 90 minutes to sum up why their client shouldn't be found guilty of the five counts he's charged with.

Sam Adam Jr. will present a closing on behalf of the former governor. In court last week, Judge James Zagel said based on his observations during the trial, Adam is a quote, "big believer in the force of repetition."

But Zagel had no problem with defense's request for a two and a half hour closing.

Prosecutors, who have the burden of proof, get a second and final closing argument which Reid Schar says will take him an hour to an hour and a half.

Judge Zagel says he wants all the closing arguments finished today.