Zagel rips 'disgraceful' potential juror

Known for his restraint, Judge James Zagel showed his claws in questioning a 22-year-old potential juror trying to get out of service in the Blagojevich corruption trial in order to attend an investment-banking course in New York City this summer.

Looking at the man's questionnaire, Zagel said, "You seem to be upset with the state of the country." He quoted a passage in which the man said rampant "self-interest" was ruining the nation.

Zagel then quoted the questionnaire in which the man wrote that serving on the jury "screws me, no job." Zagel asked if that didn't display self-interest.

Zagel cited passages in which the man claimed a "bad temper" as a medical condition and admitted consulting a lawyer on how to get out of jury duty.

"Is there anything you wouldn't say to get out of jury service?" Zagel said. He called the man's questionnaire "disgraceful" before dismissing him.

The man will almost certainly be finally dismissed with cause when prosecutors and defense lawyers consult with Zagel in court Friday morning.

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