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Blago Mistrial Due To One ‘Holdout’ Juror

From a cheering (that he got off for the moment) Associated Press:

Jurors were close to convicting Rod Blagojevich

By Don Babwin And Deanna Bellandi, Associated Press Writers
August 18, 2010

CHICAGO – They were close. After three weeks of respectful but increasingly tense deliberations, 11 jurors were ready to convict Rod Blagojevich of what prosecutors called a "political corruption crime spree" that would have sent yet another former Illinois governor to prison.

Not close enough. On vote after vote, the jury kept coming up one juror short — a lone holdout who wouldn’t budge and would agree only that Blagojevich lied to the FBI. "The person just did not see the evidence that everyone else did," said juror Stephen Wlodek.

We predict a bright future for that holdout juror.

The guilty verdict on the least serious of the 24 counts against him, and mistrial on all the rest, led Blagojevich to taunt prosecutors in the courthouse lobby. More than a year after federal prosecutors accused him of crimes that would make Abraham Lincoln "roll over in his grave," the disgraced politician bragged about essentially fighting them to a draw…

It was more than “a draw” for Mr. Blagojevich. 

The outcome that left the Blagojevich brothers so pleased came as a disappointment to three jurors who spoke to The Associated Press late Tuesday, hours after the exhausted panel departed the courthouse. They said further deliberations would not have mattered — a second unanimous decision on a charge of attempted extortion evaporated shortly before the verdicts were to be read.

"I think in the end, based on what happened today, the people of the state just did not have justice served," said Wlodek, 36, a human resources manager whose job in the jury room was playing the FBI wiretap tapes in which Blagojevich, often in the most profane language imaginable, discussed his alleged schemes.

Mr. Fitzgerald has a history of not serving justice.

Federal prosecutors — no doubt stung by the jury’s inability to reach a decision on all but the single charge — were as emphatic as the former governor. When U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel said Tuesday he would give prosecutors time to decide whether to take Blagojevich to court again, prosecutor Reid Schar spoke up instantly: "It is absolutely our intention to retry this." …

"I had him guilty on all counts," said James Matsumoto, 66, a Vietnam veteran and retired television station librarian who served as foreman.

Matsumoto and juror Erik Sarnello said the most sensational allegation — that Blagojevich tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s Senate seat — was the one that most jurors agreed was true

Wlodek told the AP that after three weeks, it was clear one juror, a woman they wouldn’t name, would not be swayed.

"She just didn’t see it like we all did," Sarnello said. "At a certain point there was no changing. … You can’t make somebody see something they don’t see."

The three jurors said there was agreement in the jury room that Fitzgerald’s case was not as strong as it could have been, and Matsumoto and Sarnello said they were bothered by the complexities of the government’s case. "It was hard to follow," Sarnello said.

Matsumoto said he thinks prosecutors jumped the gun by arresting Blagojevich in December 2008, before he’d appointed someone to fill Obama’s Senate seat. It would have been much easier to convict Blagojevich if there had been a "smoking gun" of some kind, Matsumoto said

Mr. Fitzgerald seems to have jumped the gun in any number of ways. He stopped the investigation short. He withheld witnesses.

It’s almost as if he has another agenda.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, August 18th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “Blago Mistrial Due To One ‘Holdout’ Juror”

  1. wardmama4 says:

    When this ‘news’ stuff came out about wanting the oath, I told my husband – one person was holding out and the rest were trying to get him/her to see that they were required to look at all the evidence and not go with their gut or political party or politics as usual. I wonder how much this holdout cost Blago/Obama/the DNC/the Chicago Machine? Wow – the mafia could take some lessons from Chi town politicos – they have succeeded in keeping The Won and his minions protected once again.

    Funny how in this the biggest scandal (and even before The Won was Immaculated – remember that stand-up comedy quote from The Won – ‘We investigated ourselves and found I did not do anything wrong’ – if that did not show the American citizens where we were headed, I don’t know what would have) of The Won’s Administration came out with the exact same end as the biggest ‘scandal’ of the evil Bushitlerburtonco – won’t we be surprised (NOT) when The Won commutes Blago’s sentence.

    Can I say – Told you so?

    Or probably The Won will let him rot in jail for allowing himself to get caught.

    Either way – this has not seen one one hundredth of press that the (we know now) fake ‘scandal’ of the faux undercover faux covert faux outing of the faux CIA ‘agent’ Plame during Plamegate.

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    The machine has given new meaning to “Criminal Justice”.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Good summary LD. It played out like a very predictable and disappointing movie. Blago and Bam Bam probably want the rights to that too – in a remake of the 1957 classic “12 Angry Men” – it’d feature Will Smith of course and hmm.. John Travolta as Blago?

  3. proreason says:

    I love it.

    They’re all criminals, so your only choice really is to pick a favorite.

    Blago is my favorite.

    • proreason says:

      Here’s an interesting tidbit.

      Blago is a Serb.

      Muslims hate Serbs. It might explain why the Moron allowed the trial to go forward in spite of all the risk to himself. Of course, with the noted Consiglieri Fitzgerald with blocking the door, the risk to the Capo in Chief would have been pretty limited.

      Even so, the odds of a re-trial look long to me. Some of these pesky jurors just refuse to be intimidated.

    • canary says:

      Pro, I didn’t know Blago was a Serb. Our military is training the Serbs. Maybe, the jurist that hung the jury was a plant by Obama in exchange for Blago to not write a tell all book about Obama’s role.
      From the get go, Blago was totally upbeat. It is not the time for him to be arrogant prior to his sentencing. And I guess federal prison means he’ll play golf.

  4. Chinnubie says:

    Congratulation to that hold-out. Finally, someone with a working brain. Those 11 jurors had him convicted before that trial even started.

    I still can’t fathom how you can arrest & charge someone on the idea of a crime. If they would have put Blago in jail for this we all are potentially guilty of some crime or another. If I think about robbing a bank, the local prosecutor can come arrest me, and charge me, with attempted robbery.

    If they wanted to get the guy they should have waited for him to appoint someone then brought the hammer down. I mean HOLY COW you can’t fantasize about silly stuff anymore, for fear of being arrested? Oh, I forgot BHO was involved with putting up the payment and they didn’t know there were FBI listening until they got a call. We can’t have our messiah getting in trouble on his first day now can we??

    • Petronius says:

      “I still can’t fathom how you can arrest & charge someone on the idea of a crime.”

      Apparently one juror had the same question.

      A criminal conspiracy is an agreement by two or more people to accomplish some criminal or unlawful purpose, or to accomplish a purpose that is not necessarily unlawful by criminal or unlawful means. For example, Zacarias Moussaoui was convicted of conspiracy in the plot by the 9-11 hijackers, and sentenced to life imprisonment, even though he failed to carry out his part of the conspiracy.

      An attempt to commit a crime is still a crime, even though it is unsuccessful. It only requires evidence of the intent to commit the crime, and some direct action toward consummation of the crime. Thus attempted murder by the underpants bomber is still a crime, even though the bomb does not fully explode and the intended victims are not killed.

  5. artboyusa says:

    A Personal Response from former Governor Rod Blagojevich: “Blagojevich, often in the most profane language imaginable, discussed his alleged schemes…” are youse f***in’ sh***in’ me? “Most profane language imaginable” – what a f***in’ joke! Me and my bewdiful wife, f***in’ Patty here, know lots more f***in’ profanity (mostly involving the word “f***k” and its many f***in’ derivatives) than ever f***in’ got on them f***in’ tapes that that c**k s****ing motherf***er of a DA played for the f***in’ jury, at least one of whom, thank f***in’ God, had the good sense to see which f***in’ side his f***in’ bread’s buddered on. He’ll get his f***in’ little kid back too, safe and sound, just like I f***in’ promised.

  6. Mithrandir says:

    The case of: Corrupt Government vs. Corrupt Government

    Blogo and his ‘pay to play’ politics

    VS.

    The corrupt ‘pay to play’ court system

    *Either way, YOU LOSE!


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