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Court resumes today in Joe Bruno's trial

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Court resumes today in Joe Bruno's trial
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Court resumes Tuesday morning in the second trial of former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.

The jury was selected and both the defense and prosecution delivered opening statements on Monday.

After just three hours of jury selection, nine women, three men, and four alternate jurors were chosen.

Prosecutors stuck to general questions regarding law enforcement, and if the potential jurors had any relationships with Bruno or his family. Meanwhile, the defense focused on more specific questions for the jurors. Those included questions about financial experiences, startup companies, and horse trading.

During the lunch recess, Bruno spoke to reporters rather briefly. He said he is tired, and ready to put this legal ordeal behind him. He didn't say much more because he is still under agreement with Judge Gary Sharp to not speak with the media outside of the courthouse, in exchange for shorter trial days due to his health.

Nearly 4 1/2 years after his first federal corruption trial, the former State Senate Majority leader returns to court. Bruno is being retried on charges that he used his powerful position to make thousands of dollars through bribes and kickbacks.

The judges who overturned his conviction ruled the evidence is still good enough to convict him for fraud.

"And that's very unusual, to be going into a trial, and knowing that the proof is sufficient to establish a bribery or kickback," said Paul DerOhannesian, a legal analyst.

The players in the courtroom that initially convicted Bruno are all back again, including Judge Gary Sharp and Bill Paricak, a federal prosecutor.

"Absolutely. He's familiar with all the parties in this case, and I think because of that experience, it will help him manage this case more efficiently," said DerOhannesian. "The fact that he came back, he's familiar with the case - it reflects the commitment that the U.S. Attorney's office has to this case."

But perhaps the biggest factor in Bruno's trial might be Joe Bruno himself.

DerOhannesian said, "He didn't testify last time. One of the interesting things to see whether the defense decides, and the defendant decides, 'I want to tell my story, as to why I'm innocent.' After all, if he does present well, why shouldn't he testify?"

Time Warner Cable News is your source for comprehensive coverage of this trial, with gavel-to-gavel coverage.

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