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Some Blagojevich trial mysteries solved, but one remains

Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010

* I would really like to know who this lone holdout juror is

A juror in the corruption trial of Rod Blagojevich says the panel was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of convicting the former Illinois governor of trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat.

Juror Erik Sarnello of Itasca, Ill., said the panel was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of convicting Blagojevich of trying to auction off the Senate seat. He said one woman on the panel “just didn’t see what we all saw.” The 21-year-old Sarnello said the counts involving the Senate seat were “the most obvious.”

More

[Juror Stephen Wlodek] and the other two jurors disagreed on the exact number of counts in which the jury eventually voted 11-1 to convict, they did agree on this: On at least some of the most serious counts, the overwhelming sentiment was Blagojevich was not just a politician blowing off steam in conversations recorded by the FBI in which he said the power to name a senator was “(expletive) golden” and that he wasn’t going to give it up “for (expletive) nothing.” […]

But [juror Erik Sarnello] and 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.”

More

While some votes were split 7-5, 6-6 or 9-3, the most explosive of the charges — that Blagojevich tried to sell Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat — came down to a single holdout vote, jurors said.

That one holdout — a woman whom her colleagues declined to single out — felt she had not gotten the “clear-cut evidence” she needed to convict, Sarnello said.

“Say it was a murder trial — she wanted the video,” Sarnello said. “She wanted to hear [Blagojevich] say, ‘I’ll give you this for that.’ . . . For some people, it was clear. Some people heard that. But for some, it wasn’t clear.'’

She sounds an awful lot like the lone holdout in George Ryan’s trial. That woman was removed by the judge after it was reported that she hadn’t told the truth about her criminal record during the selection process. No such luck this time around.

* Another mystery about this case was why the jurors requested a copy of their oath

Sarnello addressed the question of why the jury Tuesday asked for a copy of the oath they took at the start of deliberations. Some jurors felt one of the jurors was not deliberating in good faith. “Some people felt that they were deliberating not under what the law told us to do,” he said.

“What they were looking at wasn’t what we were supposed to be looking at based on what the judge gave us as a set of rules,” Sarnello said.

It’s probably safe to assume that the lone holdout was the target of that action. Yep. She sounds more and more like Ryan’s friendly juror with every revelation.

* Meanwhile, remember that jury note from last week which claimed they had agreed on two counts and were deadlocked on the rest? It turns out, the transcript of Bradley Tusk’s testimony, which the jury requested this week, convinced some jurors to switch their guilty votes to not guilty

The entire jury had been prepared to convict Blagojevich on the bribery charge that dealt with the ex-governor trying to shake down then-U.S. Rep. Rahm Emmanuel, Wlodek said.

But reviewing testimony from former deputy governor Bradley Tusk on Monday made all the difference for certain jurors, he said.

“Reading the testimony swayed two to three jurors to go from guilty to not guilty,” Wlodek said. “I think it just came down to the testimony of the witness. For them, it wasn’t there - they felt it didn’t prove their case.”

* So, besides the lone holdout and the Tusk-inspired flip-flop, what was the problem here? The prosecution’s road map was a jumbled mess

Sarnello, a sophomore at College of DuPage studying criminal justice, said the main problem with the prosecution’s case was that it was all over the place.

“It confused people,” he said. “They didn’t follow a timeline. They jumped around.” […]

Wlodek described the jury’s deliberations as methodical, with the foreman assigning each juror a specific job. Wlodek’s job, for example, was to review the hours of recorded conversations that the government used as a primary piece of evidence against Blagojevich.

And Carol Marin was spot on today

Fitzgerald, who is anything but a politician, used his own awesome power in this case with too heavy a hand. And so Blagojevich wasn’t hit with a federal indictment but a veritable Mack truck of complicated and redundant charges.

The feds are accustomed to winning. They wear it, too often, as a righteous entitlement. There is value in this loss.

Yes, there is.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


59 Comments
  1. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    I don’t want to know who she is. I would rather she be allowed to keep her privacy. When we are stuck on a jury, we do the best we can. We have to assume she did as well. She doesn’t deserve to be treated like Steve Bartman.

    Her inability to connect the dots cost us millions. She enjoyed the chance to play God over Rod Blagojevich and everyone else. But that is the risk we take with jury trials. We have twelve people and occassionally one is a nutcase.

    She deserves her privacy however.


  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    The feds have all that power, all those resources, and they confused the heck out of the jury. Perhaps a little arrogance with all that firepower? A .900 batting average might do that to you, I suppose.


  3. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 10:32 am:

    That holdout juror will be identified by midafternoon the latest. Probably by lunch.

    And by identified, I mean her address, email and phone number will be public as well as some sort of profile as to who she is.

    That should not be read to say that I agree with the harassment that will rain down upon her, far from it. Just that I know she will be identified and soon, and then harassed.

    And if it is as public as I would expect it to be, Sam Adam Jr. all the sudden has good grounds for a change of venue.


  4. - Concerned Observer - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 10:32 am:

    I don’t want to know who she is, but I DO want to hear her side, if that makes sense. She should be allowed to keep her privacy, VMan is right, but she should be encouraged to explain what it is she saw that others didn’t. Or rather, what she didn’t see that others did.

    I just don’t need her name/age/address attached.


  5. - Sam Bradford's Clipboard - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 10:42 am:

    Carol Marin is right — and the list of losers in this case is long. The U.S. Attorney’s office. Rod Blagojevich, now a convicted felon. The jurors who worked so hard but could not reach resolution (and will now in some cases face unwanted media and public criticism; unlike legislators who were criticized after the impeachment vote, these jurors did not choose to be public figures). The witnesses who will have to go through all of this again. The Illinois public, who wanted closure but got none. Illinois’ political class, which may have worked hard to distance itself from Blagojevich (and he certainly helped create that distance while he was still in office), but which wears some of the taint nonetheless.

    Truly there are no winners, only those who lost less and those who lost more. And on some level, that’s a fair summation of the entirety of Illinois politics since election day 2006. So in that sense maybe yesterday’s verdict was the right result.


  6. - The Fox - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 10:42 am:

    Appropriate to see Carol Marin posing behind Pat Fitzgerald after the trial. For all the shilling she did for the prosecutors she deserved to be with the staff and if she wasn’t paid she was being cheated out of the money.


  7. - girllawyer - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    I hope the feds aren’t too stubborn to adjust their tactics. I wondered from the beginning why they went with 24 (mostly)incredibly complicated charges. Pick half a dozen that are the best, clearest, easiest to prove. I’m afraid they got a little greedy. At least they get a “do-over”. Let’s hope they make good use of it.


  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 10:53 am:

    Privacy? She’s a public figure now.


  9. - George - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    Rich. I would be extremely careful about stirring up vitriol about the lone holdout juror, and would resist the urges that all the media types have to seek her out, put her on camera and make her explain herself. Some of the rhetoric I have seen here and elsewhere verges on veiled threats, which I think is a danger to our democracy (to put it bluntly and inelegantly).

    To one of your other points, there is a difference here between her and the representatives who voted “No” on impeachment. They were representing their constituents. They made the choice to be in that role.

    She was forced to serve on a jury and made her best effort to deal with her duty. She doesn’t deserve to be called on the carpet, or have to “Learn a Lesson,” as you put it.

    She was there. We weren’t. She saw the prosecution’s case. We didn’t. She said it wasn’t good enough. And her resistance to do the easy thing and go along means we will likely see a much better and more convincing case from the prosecution this next go-around. And that will likely mean we will all be satisfied with a much longer conviction sheet.


  10. - Robert - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    I agree with Bambenek’s prediction - by mid-afternoon.

    wow - jury requesting a copy of their oath? too bad there wasn’t a more skilled juror at persuasion/people skills; telling a holdout juror that you’re not performing your oath probably isn’t the best way to keep that holdout juror open-minded.


  11. - Concerned Observer - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:02 am:

    Yes, Rich, privacy.

    She didn’t *choose* to show up at the courthouse for jury selection, she was forced to.

    She didn’t *choose* to sit on the Blagojevich jury, she was chosen for it.

    The only *choice* she made was to not go along with the group opinion. And while I think she’s completely wrong, she doesn’t deserve to be publicly vilified for it.

    The most popular example of attacking an innocent bystander will probably be the Steve Bartman case. Except he *chose* to go to the game and *chose* to reach for the baseball. And it still was wrong.


  12. - Thoughts... - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:03 am:

    She didn’t choose to be a public figure and shouldn’t be excoriated for what she did. I hope, and choose to believe, that she deliberated in good faith. Until there is convincing evidence otherwise, I’ll stick to that.

    If we, as the general public, see more and more jurors vilified in the media, in blogs, harassed and harangued, couldn’t that affect our own opinions if we were to end up on a high profile jury? I know that if I found myself on something tis high profile, I would seriously consider voting to convict regardless of the evidence, because I wouldn’t want to deal with the scrutiny. That undermines the notion of a fair trial, but the more jurors get called out like this, the more I, and others, will think that way.


  13. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:14 am:

    If I can claim credit for making the Bartman analogy previously, let me also say it was a prediction and not a wish for this juror. I didn’t like what happened to Bartman, and I suspect I’m not going to like what happens to this juror.

    Having said that, this is probably one of the highest profile jury cases in a decade. Lots of people are asking themselves today, what happened in that jury room? So far, it looks like one person was adamant against conviction on most counts. I’d like to know why, and I think others will too.

    It’s a legitimate question. Did this juror consider the evidence? Did this juror obey the oath that was sworn to? If so, then this juror has nothing to worry about because we can all accept that this is how juries behave.

    On the other hand, if this juror ignored the oath, and refused to consider evidence, then we’ll know more about the prosecution’s case when it comes to the retrial.


  14. - Responsa - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:28 am:

    I could barely sleep last night thinking and wondering about the dynamics of the just completed jury deliberations. I believe the holdout deserves respect. But even more so do the other jurors who, as more and more info comes out, show how terribly unfulfilled and disappointed and frustrated they are, especially since it sounds as if several of the jurors are NOT entirely convinced that the holdout was negotiating in good faith or fully understood her responsibilities under the law.


  15. - Lisa - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:29 am:

    I asked this on another board and didn’t get a satisfactory answer. If they could not find him guilty of 23 of the charges how did they get the evidence that he lied to the procecutor? It seems that iff he lied bout something then they should have the evidence to back it up. What did he lie about?


  16. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:30 am:

    ===What did he lie about? ===

    Read the charges or the articles, for Pete’s sake. He lied about mixing campaign contributions and state business.


  17. - Quiet Sage - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:33 am:

    Remember that a decision to convict or acquit is a collective decision–it is not the result of juror’s voting in isolation, individually. So, with respect to the hold-out juror, there are two possibilities. One possibility is that, as Rich Miller asserts, he or she was an obstructionist. The other possibility is that the collective sentiment for conviction was just short of overwhelming (”beyohd a reasonable doubt”), and that the holdout juror reflected that collective, residual uncertainty.


  18. - anon - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:34 am:

    Yes, please leave her alone. If the feds had proven their case there wouldn’t have been a hold out, let alone the large splits on the other charges. Rich, you and some other folks in the media and folks on this site are really really close to the issue. The jurors don’t have that distance which was why this particuplar group was selected. To enter the trial without preconceived notions of guilt or innocence. It’s how a fair trial is done. The evidence presented is not the same level of detail you all have seen over years of following Blago. Again, if the feds had done their job - called JJjr, had Rod tesitify, presented their case more clearly, the outcome would likely be very different. This mistrial is not the fault of one woman.


  19. - State Mope - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:41 am:

    I’m not so sure the lone juror was deliberating in good faith. Why else would the rest of the jury ask for transcripts of the oath each juror swore to?


  20. - Lisa - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:46 am:

    Sorry if I upset you Rich, I’m new to this site. Could you direct me to the list of charges that were filed against him?


  21. - Quiet Sage - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:47 am:

    You are not sure, but you don’t know, and there is a danger that future jurors will be intimidated from taking unpopular stands if the assumption of this juror’s bad faith continues to be proclaimed. Evidence that the holdout juror was not a pure obstructionist is the conviction on one count.


  22. - BillyC5022 - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:51 am:

    I hope there is a book coming out. Not by Blago, but a reporter, Fed Agent, or a juror.


  23. - Segatari - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 12:38 pm:

    >She sounds an awful lot like the lone holdout in George Ryan’s trial. That woman was removed by the judge after it was reported that she hadn’t told the truth about her criminal record during the selection process. No such luck this time around.

    Because the names of the jurors were kept secret, it was impossible for reporters to look to see if these folks had anything in their backgrounds that would make them biased. How long will it be before something is discovered about this person that showed this juror would be biased?


  24. - Linda - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 12:39 pm:

    OMG, she worked for the state!

    Reports on the hold-out juror is that she is retired and lives in the suburbs. Per Natasha’s list of the jurors selected on June 8, we have this on the the one retired female:

    106, a white, female retired director for state public health department who has served on two juries before.

    The Trib on June 28 described her thusly:

    106 — A black woman, a senior citizen. A retired official for the Illinois Department of Public Health. A former director of teen counseling for the Chicago Urban League. She once handed out campaign literature for a relative who ran for public office. Listens to National Public Radio and liberal radio talk shows.


  25. - Aldyth - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 12:41 pm:

    I served on a jury some years ago and had the joy of being the foreman. When we were deliberating, there was a point of law that we really did not understand. Rather than continuing to guess, I sent out a note to the judge requesting clarification. The response was that we should read it again.

    This was not helpful. I have a masters degree and other jurors were educated folks and we didn’t feel like we really understood what we were reading. In the end, we took a WAG as to what it meant. For the sake of the parties involved, I hope we were right.

    There were things that the jury asked for that they weren’t given. I wonder if they had been given the things that they requested if they would have had a more solid outcome to the trial?


  26. - Linda - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 12:48 pm:

    Oops, another retired female. Also a former state employee. NBC, August 3.

    Juror # 127, a white female believed to be 50 to 60 years old, is retired from Illinois Department of Employment Security. She has said Blagojevich was technically her superior as governor.


  27. - Linda - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 12:51 pm:

    If the prosecution didn’t use any of their 6 their peremptory challenges on these two, can you imagine who that had to save them for?


  28. - Irish - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 1:09 pm:

    I heard it was Bill in a dress. just sayin’


  29. - Ghost - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 1:20 pm:

    This is why to me a retrial favors the prosecution. They can get feedback about what worked, what didnt etc to hone their case.


  30. - been there - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 1:21 pm:

    Here in DHS it’s being said that the holdout is the retired IDPH administrator.


  31. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 1:48 pm:

    it’s fun, isn’t it, to figure out who did what on a jury. that’s what
    the prosecution and defense are doing to prepare for
    another trial, their professional responsibility.

    why are we trying to figure out who she is? because we want
    to know, and, for some, because they are angry that she
    was the lone holdout. journalists may well want to figure
    that out, but the figuring should be minus the attitude.

    but, what was her vote against ? was it 11-1 on an entire
    count? or an act? or one part of an act? cause the
    guilty on Count 24 was only due to full agreement on one
    of the two acts in that count. finding the 11-1 out, exactly,
    is also important to the future of the case. The prosecution
    could clearly use some help cause the roadmap they
    gave the jury was like the worst version that MapQuest has
    ever given any one of us to drive somewhere.

    I would like to know why the media has done little to clarify for the public exactly what the jury was considering. take a long (cause it’s long) look at that verdict form. that counts and acts confusion? it becomes more clear, and should have been on the lips of EVERY reporter covering the case as the comments
    were coming out. it wasn’t.

    more time on clarifying facts and no time on publishing who
    the woman is. she did not ask for the job. that’s my vote.


  32. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 2:05 pm:

    Rich, it’s looking like Larry Yellen may have found the holdout — and also has a source that says she may have violated her oath as a juror by allegedly discussing the case and saying “for weeks” that she was going to vote to acquit.

    http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/metro/rod-blagojevich-guilty-juror-holdout-jo-ann-chiakulas-corruption-trial-20100818

    If this is the holdout, and she was a juror, one wonders how she got past the government’s peremptory challenge. (If this isn’t the holdout, but she was a juror, one wonders how she did.)


  33. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 2:27 pm:

    one….. ONE juror from Chicago? that’s surprising and
    an interesting subject for discussion. what did they
    want to avoid in jury selection? both sides, one side?
    State jury selections are always subject to accusations of racism.
    If a State Jury of a Chicago defendant who was African American
    came out with one person from Chicago, there
    would be screaming.

    re anon at 2:05, maybe the Feds aren’t as good as
    advertised.


  34. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 2:46 pm:

    I heard it was Bill in a dress. just sayin’

    Just be grateful he lost that thong/halter top number he used to parade around in.


  35. - And I Approved This Message - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 2:47 pm:

    Amalia - The Court covers the Northern District of Illinois. Potential jurors come from eight counties in the northeast part. So it’s a really geographically diverse pool. I was on a jury there last summer and of the 12 jurors and two alternates only three of us lived in Chicago. One person had a commute that took almost two and a half hours.


  36. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 2:52 pm:

    girllawyer, I disagree. 6 is still to many counts. 3 is the magic number.

    47th Ward, I think you are putting too much emphasis on the juror and not enough on the prosecution. It doesn’t matter why she choose to vote not guilty (assuming corruption not an issue). The Feds blew this case big-time, obviously true since there were so many not guilties on so many of the other counts. This juror holding out on one count makes sense in the context that the prosecution barely proved anything.


  37. - Windy City Mama - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 2:53 pm:

    The kid juror is on Roe. He said the one hold out had her mind made up before the trial. In the very beginning she stated how the government had over reached and just wanted to embarrass Blago.


  38. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:03 pm:

    That’s why they wanted to read her the oath about following the law and the evidence. Sigh.


  39. - Chuck Schick - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:11 pm:

    Has there been any mention of Rob by the jurors? Has anyone asked them? I have a sneaking suspicion they forgot to deliberate on Rob because they were so caught up on arguing about Rod.


  40. - been there - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:13 pm:

    will the defense in the new trial be paid for with state money or federal money?


  41. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:17 pm:

    Chuck-According to Sun-Times, vote on Rob was 9-3 for acquittal.

    been there- look at the retrial thread. It’s federal money, and not that much of it.


  42. - Linda - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:21 pm:

    @ChuckSchick

    August 18, 2010
    BY MARK J. KONKOL AND NATASHA KORECKI Staff Reporters

    Jurors in the trial of former governor Rod Blagojevich overwhelmingly wanted to send his brother home a free man — voting nine to three in favor of acquittal, one member of the jury said today. But the former governor “was lucky'’ that he wasn’t convicted on more counts, the juror said.

    That juror, John Grover of Joliet, said in an interview this afternoon that prosecutors shouldn’t put the Robert Blagojevich through another trial.

    “I didn’t get my wish for him . . . to go home with his wife,” Grover said.

    In contrast, Grover, a military veteran, said he believed that Rod Blagojevich was guilty of trying to sell President Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder.

    He said Rod Blagojevich, who was only convicted on one of 24 counts filed against him, could be headed for a different outcome if he’s tried again. There was just one hold-out juror voting to acquit him on the 11 counts alleging the Senate seat sale, he said. The rest thought he was guilty.

    “If they do retry him, he might be in trouble,” Grover said. “He was lucky.”

    But Grover said prosecutors shouldn’t put Robert Blagojevich, who personally funded his own legal defense, on trial again.

    “The prosecution didn’t have the same stuff [on him] as they did on his brother,” Grover said.

    Grover said there were nine jurors who voted in favor of acquittal on the four counts involving Robert Blagojevich and three who voted to convict.

    Robert Blagojevich, a military veteran who lives in Nashville, Tenn., was charged in four counts in the indictment. He became the head of the Friends of Blagojevich campaign fund four months before Rod Blagojevich was arrested on corruption charges in December 2009. Robert Blagojevich, unlike the former governor, testified in his own defense.


  43. - Linda - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:22 pm:

    On contacting the jurors:

    Blagojevich jurors complaining to judge about media contact
    By
    Natasha Korecki
    on August 18, 2010 2:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

    The Clerk of court has just sent out this release, on behalf of U.S. District Judge James Zagel.

    “It has come to the Court’s attention that certain jurors in the Blagojevich trial are calling and complaining about numerous phone calls from the media asking for interviews and visiting their homes. The United States Marshal has advised the jurors to call 911 to report the incidents.

    Please keep in mind that some of these jurors simply do not wish to talk, and if they have not agreed to talk with you, we ask that you respect their privacy.”


  44. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:26 pm:

    - been there - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:13 pm:

    will the defense in the new trial be paid for with state money or federal money?

    Federal.


  45. - Retired Non-Union Guy - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:28 pm:

    re Juror 106 … if the media have identified her properly, she was not the Director at IDPH; she’s not listed as a former Director on the IDPH web site. From what I can find online, it appears she was named a “Special Assistant” in the fall of 1991 and was apparently still at IDPH in 2000 with a title of “Chief”.

    Be interesting to know if she was still there when Blago took office and, if so, how long? Or did she take the 2002 ERI and never work with Blago? Anybody have Illinois Blue Books from 2003 & 2004 that might give us the answer?


  46. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:29 pm:

    Cincinnatus - “there were so many not guilties”.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. There wasn’t a single “not guilty”. There was one “guilty” and 23 failures to agree. Legally, there’s a big, big difference.


  47. - Just Because - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:52 pm:

    maybe she is related to Jones


  48. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:55 pm:

    When I read the jury instructions I suspected the government was in deep trouble. I have a master’s degree and don’t think of myself as stupid, but in several of the instructions I had no idea what the judge was trying to say. But when I read the juror’s oath, it was the final straw. I can’t answer truthfully if I have no idea what the question is.


  49. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:57 pm:

    - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 3:29 pm:

    Cincinnatus - “there were so many not guilties”.

    “Wrong, wrong, wrong. There wasn’t a single “not guilty”. There was one “guilty” and 23 failures to agree. Legally, there’s a big, big difference.”

    Should have said not guilty votes, of which there were many.


  50. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 4:25 pm:

    And I Approved this Message, yes, I understand that the
    jurisdiction is very large. but by the population, you
    would think there would be more than 1, say, like your
    3 of 14 situation. maybe the two alternates here were
    from Chicago, which would make it equal, I’m just
    wondering about the jury pool and why it is the
    way it is for this trial.


  51. - ex employee - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 4:27 pm:

    What really irritates me are the ethics tests that I was forced to take each year during this phonies administration. As I recall, one test stated that if it looked inappropriate then it probably was. At some point, like oj, he will receive his fair share of justice. I just hope to witness it.


  52. - ChicagoR - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 4:34 pm:

    As to the ratio of people from Chicago, the City has three million people, while the Northern District has about nine million. So on a jury of twelve, one would expect a mean number of four Chicagoans. Sometimes more, sometimes less.


  53. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 4:37 pm:

    More on the holdout. Tribune suggests that there could have been a conviction on more than a dozen counts if the holdout had flipped:

    http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/08/blago-the-morning-after-no-comment-on-lone-jury-holdout.html


  54. - Gregor - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 7:40 pm:

    Possibly obtuse question; how does the testimony of this trial work when they go for the re-trial? Will they just read into the record all the previous testimony, or ignore it as if it never happened, and re-call all the witnesses (and maybe more) to ask them the same questions again? Certainly, when you call these guys back again, they are going to give slightly different answers, right?


  55. - Emily Booth - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 8:30 pm:

    So Blagoyevich has one supporter. Sam Adam did his job.


  56. - Park - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 8:47 pm:

    This ‘holdout’ story is going to be interesting to watch next few. In this super information age, nothing is going to be held private, despite Judge Zagel’s direction. Wait and see if third parties who heard about the pre-judgment of the case by the holdout come forth and talk. Hope so.


  57. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 9:54 pm:

    good stuff from WTTW this evening. the foreman and
    the bearded guy from the jury were on. they bought the
    conspiracy, but thought it was all layered and attempted.
    they can see why the holdout thought there was no smoking
    gun. also, Schlinder (sp?) bearded guy said HE was the
    one who asked for the oath and he wanted to read it
    FOR HIMSELF! cause he had taken oaths before and wanted
    to be sure he had followed it. and if anyone else wanted it,
    so be it. not to be used as a cudgel over the lone holdout.

    the count pulled back was the one with Rahm, the one for
    which they got the Tusk testimony. it was not one holdout,
    but three people who flipped to acquittal.

    the two votes to acquit were over the Children’s Memorial
    charge and the racetrack charge!!!!

    which makes the prosecution roadmap total bad news cause…
    according to panel members from Channel NBC and CBS
    the prosecution opened and closed with the Children’s
    bits….cause of the children/emotion thing. like the Adams are
    the only ones going for the heart…..

    and it did not work.

    also, former USA Burns said two things that made me drop
    a plate. one came on camera and the other from comments Dana Kozlov (CBS) said she got from him. Burns suggested that the AUSAs should connect the testimony of the witnesses in
    court to the tapes and that in opening they should have explained conspiracy. did they not do those two things cause those seem like basic trial maneuvers!!! if that is true, those attorneys need to revamp.


  58. - chicity1 - Wednesday, Aug 18, 10 @ 11:42 pm:

    Who would ever want to serve on a high profile jury again, if the press goes into a feeding frenzy at the return of unpopular verdicts? The pressure to vote according to the will of the many is already ever present in jury deliberations. Now we add the threat of public flogging to those who dare to require proof BEYOND a Reasonable Doubt before they sign their names to a verdict? How dare all of you defenders of liberty, and wavers of the flag who proudly proclaim the values that make this Country special. Rather than question the quality of case that was presented, (not the newspapers daily hashing and rehashing and digesting and commentating), the evidence and law that the Judge asked jurors to base their verdicts upon, the instinct of those with the power of the pen is to attack the juror.


  59. - Cool Hand Luke - Thursday, Aug 19, 10 @ 6:34 am:

    I am inclined to believe the one woman juror who held out had a hidden agenda (personal or otherwise) of some kind. Perhaps it dealt with her personal situation in life and she could identify with Rod? The “world is picking on me” syndrome.Unfortunately, this “compassion” for victims also happens to become compassion for the “guilty” on occasion. Their mentality is “it is far better to release all of the guilty than to falsely convict one innocent”. As a result, “gridlock” in our system of justice becomes the overriding factor. Maybe this is “a positive thing” in a perfect world but, unfortunately, in the real world it is a negative.


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