Blagojevich retrial, Rezko and Levine must be witnesses, Leonard Cavise, DePaul University law professor, Evidentiary Proffer

Blagojevich retrial, Rezko and Levine must be witnesses, Leonard Cavise, DePaul University law professor, Evidentiary Proffer

It was clear to experts and novices alike that Tony Rezko and/or Stuart Levine had to be called as witnesses in the Rod Blagojevich trial. Tony Rezko’s name was mentioned approx. 288 times in the Evidentiary Proffer. When Judge James Zagel stated that Rezko was a bad witness, our collective jaws dropped. Stuart Levine, the key witness in the Rezko trial was not only enmeshed in corruption, he was a long time drug user.

From Citizen Wells July 29, 2010

“If I were a Blago juror …”

“If I were a juror, I’d wonder why we never heard from so many of the allegedly bad guys — Tony Rezko, Stuart Levine — mentioned by the prosecution.”
“As noted in part 5 of this series, Tony Rezko’s name was mentioned approximately 288 times in the Evidentiary Proffer. The above numbers reveal that of the evidence presented in the Proffer, 38 pages are loaded with names and corruption activities tied to Blagojevich from 2002 to mid 2008. And yet neither Tony Rezko or Stuart Levine were called as witnesses. And just as predicted and warned about here, the focus of the trial was the selling of Obama’s senate seat.”

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An expert on law has commented on Rezko and Levine being called as witnesses. Leonard Cavise is a DePaul University law professor. From the DePaul website.


Professor Cavise has a long background in litigation , both criminal and civil, including substantial pro bono litigation. In addition, he has worked in international human rights for many years, including lectures and training sessions in El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Venzuela, Italy, France and other locations throughout the world. Several projects were designed to train Latin American human rights lawyers in the art of trial advocacy. In 1999, he founded the Chiapas Human Rights Practicum and has taken law students to work in human rights offices in Chiapas every year since then. He was the Director of DePaul’s Lawyering Skills Program from 1983 until 1990.”

From the Chicago tribune, Cavise’s comments.

“A day later, all that was clear was that Blagojevich would have another day in court. What was less certain was what changes could be made to the prosecution case next time around, who would represent the governor at his retrial and how that defense would be paid for.

Experts differed on what the government might do as it makes another attempt at proving Blagojevich tried to leverage the powers of his office — including the appointment of a U.S. senator to fill the seat once held by President Barack Obama — to enrich himself and his campaign fund.
Some predicted that prosecutors would just slightly adjust their case or possibly leave it the same, while others suggested the next go-round could be much more drawn out.

Former federal prosecutor Dean Polales said he thinks the pr
osecution’s case will only be tweaked, especially since jurors reported an 11-1 split in favor of conviction on many of the major counts in the indictment.
“You’ve got an outlier juror,” Polales said. “That’s hard (for the defense) to duplicate in a future trial.”

But Leonard Cavise, a DePaul University professor, suggested the government will need to do more at the retrial, possibly leading to a longer presentation of evidence. He said he believes the government may try to avoid another deadlocked jury by using fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko and political fixer Stuart Levine as witnesses.

Both men have agreed to cooperate, but prosecutors chose not to call them this summer in part because of the baggage both bring.
“If the prosecution insists on going forward, I have two words for them: Rezko and Levine,” Cavise said. “They know where all the bodies are buried.””

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