Oprah Tickets Now Almost Viable Excuse for Getting Out of Jury Duty


The trial of the century might be the Rod Blagojevich trial. But the television program of the century is clearly the Oprah Winfrey show. As such, a potential juror being questioned on the second day of selection for the Blagojevich retrial explained that she had tickets — and not just one, but four — for the May 10 show. May is the final month of taping.

This conversation ensued, reports the Chicago Sun-Times:

U.S. District Judge James Zagel said he could reschedule the trial of Illinois’ former governor to accommodate the talk show goddess but: “That seems a little over the top.”

“It’s the last year, judge,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar said, smiling, and referring to the final season the show is taping.

Ultimately, it was decided that the parties would “revisit the issue,” with Zagel open to a suggestion to schedule court that day around the show’s taping. After all, “Everybody here knows that this juror will survive” without seeing the show, or so Zagel said. But who wants to risk it?

One guy who was officially excused from jury service had finally gotten a job after 16 months of unemployment. Surely his new boss will understand if he gets Oprah tickets.

Potential juror conflict: Blagojevich trial or Oprah show tickets? [Chicago Sun-Times]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 26, 2011

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