Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Blagojevich jury's first question: Can we have a transcript of the prosecution's closing argument?

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Reporting with Sarah Ostman

After deliberating for just a few hours, jurors in Rod Blagojevich's trial have made their first request: they want a transcript of the prosecution's closing argument.

After reading the note, the three prosecutors on the case looked at each other and laughed.

The request will be denied, said Judge James Zagel, since closing arguments are not evidence.

The 12-member jury's request was sent to the judge in a note, which was referred to in open court this morning. The note asked for the government's closing argument.

In closing arguments, Prosecutor Chris Niewoehner extensively laid out the charges in the case with an explanation of each count and what evidence the prosecution believed proved their case.

Zagel noted that the indictment in the case, which does go back with the jury, was complicated and repetitive.

"If they are unable to work their way through this without the statements, I expect this issue to rise again," Zagel said. "And I will deal with it."

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On day seven of deliberations, the jury in Rod Blagojevich's retrial again is silent. So far, the panel of 11 women and one man have been fairly quiet, sending just two notes. In the most substantive note, sent last... Read More

17 Comments

Guilty on all counts your honor. Plus we added in a few more.

What I saw at court and what I read in the sun-times were two different events. Very bias reporting.

Puzzling, isn't it, why the Feds moved in prematurely to arrest Blago before any crime was committed? Elementary, my dear Watson! They were merely trying to protect President-elect Obama who would have been equally culpable if the deal for the Senate seat had gone through...

Yes, Martha Stewart went to jail. But it didn't kill her magazine. Or her TV show. Or her empire. So, I heard it's been said that "following her jail sentence, it humbled her. That's why she didn't suffer a lost to her business.

I have no idea what the jurors will do, here. But whatever the outcome, Rod Blagojevich has been truly humbled. But not STUMBLED. Not so destroyed that he "rolls in his grave." Not by a long shot!

And, ya know what? I'm still amazed Patrick Fitzgerald still has a license to practice law.

Lamestream, my foot! The journolistas decided not to show Senator Elect Roland Burris, standing outside the senate door, in the rain. The door locked to bar his entry, by none other than Harry Reid.

The 'attempt' by the way, IS an assassination! And, Patrick Fitzgerald was hoping to roll Rod Blagojevich into his grave.

As to the laughter, I went and asked a lawyer what he thought, and he responded: Nervous laughter. Like just before you fail a test.

Perhaps they laughed because it appears the jury didn't ask first "What would Sam say about this", rather they asked "What did the prosecutor say about this "?

The irony that they didn't heed Sam Adam Jr's suggestion in his closing argumnent would cause me to laugh, if I were a prosecutor.

Carol - The use of words like "democrapic majority" and "democraps" really add a lot to this discussion. Are you still in the 4th grade? What's next - "lamestream media?"

Leave him alone.

Natasha/Sarah: Wish you were there in the jury room to continue with your excellent reporting.

Congrats again!

Carol, the reason they laughed is because it was a bizarre/ridiculous request that no judge would ever grant. As the story says, closing arguments are not evidence, so the jury does not actually require a transcript of it.

This case could have been a slam dunk and the prosecution blew it big time...from the dramatic premature arrest, not calling Rezko who was key to the money trail and all the proxy witnesses...This case was lame, hardly worthy of "Lincoln rolling over"...

Blago is only charged w/ attempted extortion and bribery.There is not a payoff in that case. I believe he will be found guilty.

Just a reminder on the political events. (In case you really believe Abraham Lincoln rolled over in his grave.) Rod Blagojevich, while still governor, decided to appoint Roland Burris to the vacant senate seat.

While in the senate, Harry Reid stepped up to the plate. To knock Burris out of contention! Over a 10 day period, with the full weight of the democrapic majority, Harry Reid, himself, composed a letter to Burris, telling him he wouldn't be seated! And, all of the democraps then signed on! (As if you can't hear the political tune playing in the background.)

One reason Burris was selected, apart from being black, and qualified, is that he had STAMINA. (Jesse Jackson, Jr., doesn't have this quality. And, much to Blago's surprise, Junior calls his dad "The Reverend." Or "Rev." Not dad! Go ahead. Picture this any way you want to do.

While Burris shows up in DC. And, stands outside of the "shut in his face" door. Because Harry Reid said "He shall not enter, here!" So, for 10 days, every day, Burris would go to the locked senate door. (Meanwhile, the senate was LILY WHITE, following the post-racial ascension of Obama.) And, Harry Reid had every intention of forcing the new governor of Illinois to "select" Lisa Madigan WITHOUT any benefits at all to the people of Illinois.

Hung? Or not hung? What will the jurors do? Zagel is up there as a judge, just like Susan Bolton. More moxey than brains.

What if the jurors can't find a good reason to convict? Okay, the journolisters and the whole crew of media attack dogs will go nuts.

COURAGE. (As the old Dan Rather used to say at sign off.)

So they should have waited until we had a United States Senator appointed through bribery, Green? Wow. Should murder for hire cases wait until the victim has actually been whacked? I think it's a stretch to say that the jury's asking for a transcript of the prosecution's closing argument means they are going to hang up. I think it might mean they are trying to determine which of many somewhat complicated charges they are going to convict him of.

If they need a roadmap, they should have called Oslo!

As to why three at prosecution table laughed, I have no idea.

Meanwhile, I'll settle for "hung." But don't forget, Zagel can impede their "discussions" just by shutting down the building's air conditioning. Especially, on Fridays. Seems Zagel doesn't like to come to work on Fridays.

I bet they remember "What would Sam say about this?"

I expect a hung jury or a not guilty verdict. The case is too complicated because the government did not wait until a payoff was completed. Too many vague areas. That is the bottom line.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on July 29, 2010 11:39 AM.

Blagojevich trial: Jury sends note out from deliberations was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich trial: Day two of deliberations comes to a close is the next entry in this blog.

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