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This just in… Ryan lawyers can’t question jurors

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006


A federal judge today rejected a request by lawyers for former Gov. George Ryan to interview two women who were tossed from the jury.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer said her most fundamental reason for her decision was that neither Evelyn Ezell nor Cindy McFadden took part in the final round of deliberations that resulted in a guilty verdict last week in the historic case.

The judge also expressed concern that interviewing Ezell would likely lead to requests to question additional jurors. She also called McFadden’s claims that she had been set up for dismissal “very regrettable.”

Julie Bauer, an attorney for Ryan, argued that the defense should be allowed to talk to both women since each had already spoken publicly to reporters about their views of the case.

Bauer said the two former jurors raised allegations of misconduct by other jurors that should be investigated.


federal judge barred prosecutors Wednesday from making criminal background checks of prospective jurors in the upcoming trial of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s onetime patronage chief and three other former city officials.

“I will order that no criminal background checks be run absent an order of the court,” U.S. District Judge David H. Coar said in response to notification from prosecutors that they planned to make such checks before jury selection scheduled to start May 10 gets under way.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick M. Collins told Coar that the government had planned to make such checks in the wake of the racketeering and fraud trial of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Pat Hickey - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 1:17 pm:

    That train has left the station. The orchestrated symphony of charges and witnesses -not mention a harmonious chord from the final jury choir - brought the sweet sounds of outrage from a great many people. George Ryan’s team will need to find some other means to battle for their client. Judge Pallmayer is not about to twist the key on this can of worms. Another judge will do that further down the track.

  2. - Sporty 41 - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 2:45 pm:

    Alas the sweet chords of due process have been completely severed by Pallmayer-ito in an attempt to cover her previous mis-steps.

  3. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 4:54 pm:

    Will someone tell me what I’m missing here? Why would a judge tell the prosecutors of any trial that they cannot run criminal background checks on prospective jurors? It seems to me that had this been done in the Ryan trial, one appealable issue could have been eliminated.

  4. - Lovie's Leather - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 4:56 pm:

    It is an obvious ploy on the part of the judge to cover-up the mistakes she has made… atleast that is what it would appear to be. Maybe she should let them, that way she wouldn’t look like a fool. But it appears that that train has left the station….

  5. - Anon - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 8:58 pm:

    Boo freaking hoo.

  6. - Adam Smith - Wednesday, Apr 26, 06 @ 9:33 pm:

    Perhaps this is so no one interviews jurors with anything other than softball, verdict-affirming questions. I thought the judge asked incredibly leading questions of the jury foreman, e.g. p.48 of the transcript. “This section that we are looking relates to criminal justice experience. Is that what you were thinking about?”

    As far as I’m concerned the guy is guilty as sin, but it bugs me that the jury was so mishandled — it calls everything into question.

    Hope this comment doesn’t get blocked (not sure why others have been).

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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