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

Blagojevich jury's second question: Can we have transcripts of ALL the testimony?

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On their third day of deliberations, jurors in Rod Blagojevich's corruption trial gave a sign that they're in this for the long-haul.

Their request this morning: a transcript of all testimony for the seven weeks of trial.

"Is it permissible to obtain a transcript of the testimony. It would be helpful," the note read.

And the answer to that question is no.
However, U.S. District Judge James Zagel said, with agreement by the lawyers, he will respond by telling the jurors that the testimony of certain witnesses would be considered.

Zagel noted that if (and when) that requests comes, it will take time to prepare the transcripts.

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15 Comments

I think that court reporters now just feed the tape into a device that prints out the testimony directly from the tape. Saves hours of transcription time.

Atom, this is an uneducated comment to dismiss an entire field of work you clearly know nothing about. While you are correct that an audio would work with the jury, the transcript will still be necessary when the verdict is appealed. You can't expect everyone to have the exact same digital audio program. And you can't even search audio like that unless it's tagged with notes, also a court reporter job. Transcripts will always be in written form because reading something is still the best way to work on the train for example. The court reporting profession is going to be around forever. It's an extremely important, high-skilled job.

There's a difference between being a blowhard and being corrupt.

Read the comment since this trial began, it's scary to know how little people know about the American legal system.

The amount of stupidity spewing in the comments is just staggering

In my experience, allowing the jurors to continually re-read and review testimony of witnesses (or selected witnesses) places undue emphasis on those portions without regard to the evidence as a whole.

I am also equally surprised that the transcripts are not already produced in a daily fashion for such a high-profile trial.

Usually, when a jury asks questions, they are asking in order to settle a dispute (e.g., well then, we agree that if it is answered this way, then we can move on...). Here, the jury requested the prosecutor's closing argument, which was denied. Then they requested a copy of all transcripts of all witnesses. These two requests seem to imply to me that certain jurors were not paying attention and that those jurors not paying attention are in the minority; further, that the majority of jurors are confronting those jurors and saying that the prosecutor explained exactly how the evidence showed the defendant was guilty, but that request was denied by the Judge. So the dispute among the jurors remains. Now they requested all the transcripts to again confront that juror or jurors who are being stubborn that they didn't hear the facts that way, when they were actually not paying attention or are being unreasonable. Now that the judge has denied that request, I predict that the jury room is going to start getting very heated putting pressure on the minority of jurors who are holding out because their position is starting to be revealed as unreasonable and not easily susceptible to resolution by, for example, sending out a request that would have resolved the dispute (e.g., "see it says right here blah, blah, blah"). So, in fact, the deliberations may actually be resolved much more quickly because it is not about the evidence so much as resolving exactly why the minority juror(s) are opposed to a unanimous verdict, and here the type of requests that the jury made suggest that the hold-outs were not paying attention to the evidence. This means that those hold-outs will begin to realize that they have to defend the reasonableness of their position, but because they weren't paying attention, they can't do that. Consequently, it will be easier for them to simply change their vote to the majority position.

Gerald Pechenuk
Your right on target. I will add that the Chicago Media is aware of this and refuses to report it, even when they have been provided proof. Some stories are to big to conceal and this will be one of them. Ask yourself why no one in the media has questioned John Chase about who provided information to him that altered the coarse of an investigation that involved the "Presidents Men" However you try to spin it the leak had to originate from the DOJ. Wake up people!

Horrible, horrible government meddling. Like a bunch of ninnies listening on conversations. Talking is talking, no crime was committed. Of course, the government goes after Blago because they don't have the guts to go after the real crooks. They're within walking distance of this court.

The stenographer is an anachronism. The jury should have access to an audio recording on a hard drive. The judge could just have the recording edited to provide the testimony he wanted to provide. It would take 15 minutes.

I'm forecasting that Obama is guilty on all counts. The fact that the prosecution refused to call Rezko among other KEY witnesses tells you that he would probably have "spilled" the proverbial beans. I mean, according to the Jim Merriner Chicago magazine last public interview with Rezko, Tony was very, very, very, very, close to the President.
I believe the government DID NOT PRESENT its strongest case, BECAUSE ITS STRONGEST CASE WOULD IMPLICATE B.O. in some illegal shennanigins.
In which case, Rod P. plays and prays for some lenient treatment, too, in return for his keeping his lips zipped, tight.

Jeff, actually, most court reporters use a stenotype machine to take stenographic notes of the proceeding. People talk much too quickly for most humans to actually type the words they are saying. Instead, the reporter takes shorthand using the steno machine. The notes then have to be transcribed into typewritten transcripts, a process which takes many hours of work. It is also possible that a court reporter would run electronic recording equipment, which would also require production of a typewritten transcript.

I am predicting - guilty on 18 counts

Shouldn't transcripts be done already? The court reporter transcribes the proceedings as they are happening. Anyway, I think it's pointless to speculate on why juries ask specific questions. Maybe there was just disagreement on a couple of points, and they wanted to clarify things. Not sure why they can't have that, as it is clearly evidence.

It tells me that one or more jurors don't buy into the feds case yet. there is a disagreement between jurors on what they thought they heard. Question is how many on whcih side and who has the stronger will.

Please keep in mind that Martha Stewart did not lose her media empire, even though the prosecution won its case and she went to jail.

So, how come Martha Stewart got back up on her feet, here? She's not young, anymore. The cameras aren't supposed to be kind to women who are 20 years past 50. What gives?

Interestingly enough, Randall Lane came up with an opinion. BECAUSE Martha Stewart was HUMBLED BY THE VERDICT, public sympathy swung her way.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on July 30, 2010 10:46 AM.

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

Blagojevich jurors gone for the day is the next entry in this blog.

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