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‘Complexities’ May Hang Blagojevich Jury

From a hopeful Associated Press:

Complexities may deadlock Blagojevich jurors

By Michael Tarm, Associated Press Writer
August 12, 2010

CHICAGO – Jurors who have spent the last 11 days deliberating in the corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have been able to listen to more than 100 excerpts of wiretap tapes, look through any notes they took during testimony and refer to some 120 pages of jury instructions.

We have had the honor to serve on numerous juries, including several high profile and murder trials. We have never gotten any more than a couple of minutes of oral instruction from the judge.

All of that, though, may not have been enough to prevent them from becoming deadlocked.

Or, it might have helped to cause a deadlock.

Any discord has apparently been civil, Zagel told the court, with no reports of shouting or screaming from the 25th floor jury room where the 12 jurors gather each weekday.

Well, that’s a mercy.

Jurors include a former postman, ex-Marines and a teacher — most of whom never would have dealt with such legal intricacies.

"They have to get their minds around stuff that makes no sense whatsoever," said Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor not connected to the Blagojevich case.

In other words, they are just like any other jury.

Part of the difficulty is that the alleged corruption was not as straightforward as someone walking into Blagojevich’s office and plopping bags of cash bribes on his desk.

Instead, the then-governor is heard on the FBI wiretaps — the core of the government’s case — talking, sometimes circuitously, about using gubernatorial decisions for personal gain.

On one tape, he asks an aide if it’s possible to stop state money from going to a children’s hospital. Prosecutors say the question amounted to a command to freeze the money until a hospital CEO coughed up a donation. The defense says it was merely a question.

That puts the onus on jurors to make nuanced judgments about what Blagojevich may have meant.

Yes, because Mr. Blagojevich was so reticent and subtle in his recorded remarks.

The thorniest of the counts against him is the first — racketeering.

To find him guilty of just that one charge, jurors have to run down a list of more than 20 illegal actions and decide whether he committed them. They range from attempting to trade an appointment to Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat to trying to shake down a construction company executive…

The first count amounts to a domino: A guilty verdict on racketeering could set off guilty verdicts on many of the 23 counts that follow, from bribery to attempted extortion.

Conversely, a not guilty verdict on racketeering could mean that prosecutors, many of whom spent years on the case, are in for a bad day

Alternatively, a hung jury might mean that the fix was in from the start.

Which would really be a shocker for the Chicago legal system.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 12th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “‘Complexities’ May Hang Blagojevich Jury”

  1. proreason says:

    The question the jury is really grappling with is whether a politician who acts exactly like every other politician is a criminal or not.

    The answer should clearly be yes, but it is certainly understandable why some might be reluctant to convict.

    It’s unlikely they are paying much attention to the judge’s directives, which certainly would lead them to a slam-dunk guilty verdict. There are people on any jury who can understand instructions and explain them to the others. Fitzpatrick, the criminal pretending to be the prosecutor, would have seen to that. If the jury was paying attention to the edicts, the pre-ordained verdict would have come down as soon as the Fitzpatrick’s hand-picked jurors had time to read the judge’s indictment.

    A second issue is probably that the government has obviously been criminal itself by:
    a) focusing on one guy when the net should have been much wider, including, at least, the Ballerina and the Moron,
    b) manipulating the evidence, and
    c) making sure that Blago was not given the opportunity to prove that the Moron was just as criminal as he was in this matter.

    • Petronius says:

      Great post on several levels.

      “Fitzgerald, the criminal pretending to be the prosecutor….” Good one!

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Thanks to your post, Pro, my “obvious meter” has gone “sproing” and is permanently busted. Yes, you clearly laid it out there and yes, the man-child president is deeply involved in this, as are others.

      It will never come to light until they have moved away with all of their stolen bling.

  2. NoNeoCommies says:

    It is pretty complex trying to find out a way to profit from being a member on Blago’s jury while not exposing oneself to criminal prosecution.

  3. jobeth says:

    “Any discord has apparently been civil, Zagel told the court, with no reports of shouting or screaming from the 25th floor jury room where the 12 jurors gather each weekday. “

    In other words no one behaved like Blago.

    Soooo, are these people REALLY his peers?

  4. Gladius et Scutum says:

    At Noon Chicago time, local media were reporting that the jury was resolved on only two of the 24 counts, and have not yet taken up the wire fraud questions (which are 12 of the charges).

  5. heykev says:

    I have been trying to find for quite some time now what’s happened to Tony Rezko. Seems he’s simply disappeared.

    According to what little I could find he’s:
    1) moved from Chicago’s downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center even though it’s right across the street from the federal courthouse where Blago is being tried.

    2) is not listed on the federal Bureau of Prisons’ inmate locator
    3) has not been sentenced and it’s getting close to 2 years!

    If the 120 pages of jury instructions got you wondering what is going on here in Illinois. Asking “Where’s Rezko” will cause to you to believe there maybe a fix even more. After all, if one thing we do well here in Illinois its breed self-serving corrupt politicians.

    • proreason says:

      The rooskies used to scrub inconvenient people from photos.

      Today, the lamestream media pretents they don’t exist.

    • jobeth says:

      Sucks to be Obalmy’s friend…once you are no longer a useful idiot.

      Same strange kind of stuff happened to the Clinton’s friends with all their sudden heart attacks, plane crashes and suicides…but hey, at least you could find the body!

      But we know our boy king would never allow anything bad to happen so anyone, even IF they had the goods on him.

      Careful Blago!

      In reality I would expect he’s been given a “get out of jail free” pass and got $2 million dollars and passed go… directly to Syria in order to escape all that prison time.

  6. artboyusa says:

    Yo! Whadda youse mean “what’s going on here in Illinois”? Whadda youse on dope or sumthin? Whadda youse? Some kinda f***in’ troublemaker? ‘Cause if you is, den we knows whads ta do aboud it, capeesh? Okay, alright. Seddle down. Youse seem like a pretty square kinda fella, so jus lissen up: whad’s goin’ on here is dat da system is woikin’. In dis state, same as in any odder da system is dat them dat’s got id youse know whad “id” is -da powah, da moolah, da good life. Well, dey gets ta keep id, no matta whad, and dem dat ain’t got, dey don’t nevva gonna get. Govna Rod, him and his wife, f****in’ Patty – dey’s people who’s got, see? So dey gets ta keep id – and afta this little piece a judicial theater, dey’ll still have id. Guarandeed. Dat’s da Chickago Way, pally.

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