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.