Archive for April, 2011

More on the Story: Week in Review (4/25-4/29)

Here is a roundup of Chicago Tonight‘s web stories from this week: Monday, April 25: – Remembering Bill McCarter – Howard Reich’s ‘Prisoner of Her Past’ Blagojevich Retrial: – The Price of Jury Duty – Jury Selection Continues Tuesday, April 26: – Sleep Research – Losing Money with Groupon – Police Superintendent Short List Blagojevich […]

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Weekend Events Around Town: 4/29 – 5/1

Looking for something to do this weekend? Chicago Tonight has a few ideas! Here are some events that we talked about on our show this week, as well as some we couldn’t get to: Art Chicago, Artropolis and Next: The International Fair of Contemporary and Modern Art Catch this massive art fair at the Merchandise […]

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The Media

Friday. To the relief of jurors I’m sure, there is no court today. The visual media need not gather in the lobby of the Dirksen building and wait for their reporters to bring people of interest over to the media pen to be interviewed under harsh, blinding light or to report developments. The “rapacious media”, […]

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Archaic Court System

The other day as I was sitting in the spectator section of the courtroom, I looked at the empty jury box filled with 18 black, vinyl chairs all askew with their backs at different heights. Some of these chairs have casters and some stationery feet. Memories of sitting for hours in a few of those […]

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Parishioners Protest Pfleger Suspension

Father Michael Pfleger is said to be “shocked” by the news that he was suspended from his ministry at St. Sabina Catholic Church by Cardinal Francis George on Wednesday. Pfleger has been the pastor at St. Sabina Church on Chicago’s South Side for more than 30 years. He recently rejected the Catholic Church’s offer to […]

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Racial Bias Raised In Jury Selection

When Judge Zagel excluded an African-American female from the jury because of financial hardship, defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky raised the question of racial bias. He told the judge, “We could be in Batson land here.” Sorosky was referring to the Supreme Court case that prohibits the exclusion of an entire group of jurors based on […]

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Chicago Galleries at Art Chicago

Art Chicago, the city’s massive international art fair, marks its 30th year when the show opens Friday, April 29th at the Merchandise Mart. Although it has existed in many incarnations, the fair this year is mixed on one floor with NEXT, a contemporary show. As visitors wander between the two shows, they can see a […]

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Letter by Robert McClory to Chicago Sun-Times

This letter was submitted by Robert McClory to the Chicago Sun-Times on April 28, 2011, regarding Father Michael Pfleger’s suspension: Cardinal George’s suspension of Fr. Michael Pfleger from ministry is about as ham-handed and wrong-headed a decision as one can make. What is the point of enforcing a rule that will essentially deprive Chicago’s south […]

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For Which I Stand

During an interview today, I was asked if I went to the courthouse in order to sway the jury. I gave a glib reply that implied that I had no ability to sway. That question, however, made me wonder if the siren song of the media has lured me toward my demise? The lyrics of […]

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Flap Over Juror

Prosecutor Reid Schar wanted to dump a potential juror who admitted to attempting to stab his brother, is on disability and says he spends all day watching TV. Defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky accused the government of trying “to develop a class standard. It’s very unfair, very un-American.” The juror was bounced.

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No Jury Today

Judge Zagel told lawyers this morning that they would have until Monday to file peremptory challenges. Once these challenges are made, the final jury of 12 with 6 alternates will be in place. Opening arguments will likely begin Monday afternoon.

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Father Pfleger Suspended by Cardinal George

Father Michael Pfleger was suspended from his ministry at St. Sabina Catholic Church by Cardinal Francis George on Wednesday. Pfleger recently rejected the Catholic Church’s offer to head Leo High School in the same neighborhood as his parish. In a letter written by Cardinal George to the controversial priest, George said Pfleger’s public remarks that […]

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Transition from Jury Foreman to Spectator

Without a doubt it was different. Amid the expanse of wooden walls, wooden benches, wooden tables and vinyl-covered seats that were so familiar to me, there was a whiff of strangeness. I entered the court through the back doors and sat down among the spectators until I was moved to the reserved press seats across […]

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Jury Foreman from First Trial to Blog for Chicago Tonight

Jim Matsumoto, jury foreman from Rod Blagojevich’s first trial and retired tape librarian from WTTW, will be blogging for Chicago Tonight from the second trial. As a spectator this time around, Matsumoto will be describing the action from the courtroom.

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Royal Wedding Viewing Parties

British Consul General Robert Chatterton Dickson and Blogger Toni Hargis will be on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm to discuss the much-anticipated Royal Wedding on Friday. Didn’t score an invite to the big day? No problem! There are several viewing parties across Chicago where you can watch Prince William and Kate Middleton get married on […]

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