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

Attorney: Jury is "hopelessly deadlocked" on every count that involves an act

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki, Dave McKinney and Abdon Pallasch


A lawyer said jurors indicated in their note that they are hopelessly deadlocked on every count that involves a specific act.

Lawyers are now scratching their heads, trying to figure out what that means, attorney Michael Ettinger said in a press conference at around 4:50 p.m.

The jury might be saying they cannot reach a verdict on the racketeering charges, Ettinger speculated. That's a lengthy and complicated charge that is divided into six separate "acts." He said if they couldn't reach an agreement on any count involving a specific act, that would technically involve just about every count in the indictment except for the false statement charges.

Attorneys saw the entire note sent out by the jury earlier today; only portions were read in court a little while ago. Judge James Zagel has responded in writing, asking the jury for clarification.

Ettinger responded with "I don't know" over and over again when asked if he thinks the jury's note meant they were deadlocked on every count or just some.

"I assume they're hung on my client, but I don't know," he said.

Meanwhile, the jury has gone home for the day. Lawyers will be back in court at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

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5 Comments

Sure. Patrick Fitgerald can "retry" to his heart's content. Doesn't mean there isn't stuff going on, here. Including how the defense just stopped arguing all points. Even "forfeiture." Which hangs on finding the racketeering charges sticking. In all six places.

Remember, it's gotta be BEYOND a reasonable doubt!

Sure, the jurors wanted the cheat cheat. They asked for the prosecutors close, only to find their request wasn't granted. So? Twelve days later they're supposed to remember the instructions for deeming guilty pleas?

If you went to an action thriller. Walking out "blown away" by the thriller. Where are you 12 days later, in terms of recall?

And, why has the defense decided NOT to fight the judge, when they're standing there in the courtroom. And, all these "rulings" are taking place?

No Appeal because there's no money! You can get to the Supreme Court, asking for the granting of cert, with nothing more at your disposal, while you're in prison. Than paper and pencils. You can't fool me! No lawyer who saw a miscarriage of justice just walks away! There are others whom they know who would go forward with the Appeal.

And, among other things, the prosecutor never laid a glove on Martha Stewart's EMPIRE! Even in the magazine world, where there's been a drop in subscriptions, Martha THRIVES! Why? Because she's got a key ingredient to fame: Name recognition.

What I don't understand is why the defense attorneys want to stay out of Zagel's hair! The "hanging" doesn't have to split 50/50, either. At least Patrick Fitzgerald, today, has no reason to dance the jig.

His funds are pretty much depleted (that we know of). Appeal by what team of attorneys? The hired guns see no money in an appeal. Fitz will retry Blago on any and all counts. Prison orange will be his new color.

If Blago is not convicted, the legislators that tore him out of office on flimsy charges will be do for a public beating.

As to Rangel, for some reason, now in DC, seems he's fighting a similar "flimy" call to retire.

Maybe, that's how politicians stack the deck?

For Blagojevich, since the whole note wasn't read in court, we can only speculate. But after 12 days you're not going to go back and get people to commit to "AN ACT" ... where right now they are dizzy from having to show up in court each day!

How hung? I didn't know it mattered if the cord wasn't gonna fit da' neck? And, t'mrra? It seems the jurors get in before 11AM! So, of course, Zagel will be robed and punching on the jurors door from about 10 AM. Or 10:30 AM. He just wants them all gathered, while they wait for an answer. Sounds like the ACTS don't stack up. Which is what was said by the defense attorney.

No one is arguing they needed to hear Rod's testimony. Seems Patrick Fitzgerald's team fell short. (Still not good enough. But we can still always hope.)

The judge needs to turn up the heat on this jury. They're not arguing loudly because it's been a picnic for them so far - half days, etc. Stick them in that room 12 hours a day for a week and you will see a verdict.

If this is true...then if Blago is found guilty on any counts at all, he will have a good shot at an appeal. Any thoughts?

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on August 11, 2010 4:55 PM.

Blagojevich jury: We can't reach a unanimous decision; Judge to ask for more details on their deadlock was the previous entry in this blog.

No word from Rod Blagojevich as he leaves the courthouse is the next entry in this blog.

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