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

Blagojevich holdout juror: "I didn't do it for him." Tribune report.

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JoAnn Chiakulas, the lone juror who stood her ground and refused to convict Rod Blagojevich on Senate seat sale charges, has broken her silence.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Chiakulas -- Juror 106 -- said she didn't think the prosecution didn't prove its case on the Senate seat beyond a reasonable doubt.

They jury was split on some counts. But jurors said there was just one holdout on the Senate seat sale, wire fraud counts, which make up about nine of the charges against the former governor.


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7 Comments

I TRULY BELIEVE:

A CIVIC MONUMENT SHOULD BE CREATED TO HONOR 67 YEAR OLD GRANDMOTHER JoAnn Chiakulas.SHE WHO STOOD BRAZENLY, AND WITH
GREAT COURAGE, AND FORTITUDE AGAINST ALL OPPOSITION, ALONE , STEADFAST, AND TRUE TO HER BELIEFS .HER UNWAVERING POSITION, AS "JUROR NUMBER TWELVE", COURAGEOUSLY VOTING HER ASSERTIONS THAT THE PROSECUTION HAD FAILED TO PROVE IT'S CASE AGAINST THE FORMER GOVERNOR. IT SHALL STAND IN THE FEDERAL PLAZA BETWEEN THE GREAT "ALEXANDER CALDER SCULPTURE" AND BETWEEN THE "WINGED VICTORY OF SOMATHRACE" WHICH STANDS WITHIN THE BUILDING OF 131 S. DEARBORN. ST HERE IN CHICAGO. ADJACENT TO THE FEDERAL COURTHOUSE.VIRTUE.

***Good for Her*** Holdout Juror JoAnn Chiakulas was able to rise above the mob mentality and form her own intellectual opinion rather than follow the more popular opinion administered by the pied piper of prosecution that everyone else has followed. This holdout juror got it right.You can't think someone into jail just because you may think they are guilty. You must have clear and convincing evidence beyond a reasonable doubt in order to steal freedoms away from citizens. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald targeted an unpopular governor and used that as leverage to steal freedoms from innocent individuals. Case in point, prosecution dropped all charges against Robert Blagojevich who they knew was innocent but used the brother to try and get Rod Blagojevich but prosecutors didn't tell the jury nor the media that. You must ask yourself, what else has the jury not been informed of?

Tim L. Thornton-Constitutional & Political Activist-Springfield, IL

Gosh, leave this poor woman alone! Who would ever want to serve on a jury if she thought she would have to go through this? She did her job and obviously didn't want to talk about. Why do we feel we have the right to know her reasoning? Even those of us who believe we are unbiased have biases deep within us...the way we were raised, where we lived + worked, etc. I totally disagree with her vote and would have voted guilty, but I wasn't on the panel. It feels as if this person was harassed into responding + it doesn' t seem fair. Just my opinion...

In Ryan's case, he is in jail because the judge tossed off the juror who wanted to acquit. Here? We know the jurors requested the "oath" that got signed in the beginning. And, yes, this woman certainly has stamina.

She's not really alone. There are plenty of Americans who agree with her! Rod Blagojevich didn't "SELL" anything! This was a job done on him, not just by our FBI, but our government! There were out, as well, to bankrupt him.

And, now Zagel says "he can only have two attorneys?" To be fair, Zagel should also handicap the prosecution the same way! Of course, he won't. The fix is in.

But the truth will still dance out. Nothing got sold! And, it wasn't just 11 to 1! (Or you wouldn't see brother Robert's charges dropped.)

Does Blago talk too much? Is that a crime?

Henry Fonda once played the roll of a lone juror; in a roomful of men who wanted to convict. Was it called THE LAST ANGRY MAN. Here the drama was in real life. And, I think JoAnn Chiakulas will come out of this smelling lots better than Patrick Fitzgerald.

HELLO! Abraham Lincoln HORSE TRADED!

I have to agree with Carol about the lawyer's...If Blagojevich is just allowed 2 lawyers the prosection should be limited to 2 as well as the same amount should be allocated for both sides...fair is fair...IF the defense is smart this time around they will persist on getting that 2 hour interview Obama/Fitz...Fitzgerald is gaurding it with his life for a reason??? And if the prosecution is really serious about convicting they're going to have to call Rezko.

While I respect the juror's position, the fact that she feels it necessary to say that she didn't do it for him (Blago) makes me wonder about the whole process. What if she had done it for him? What's to stop someone from subverting the jury's intentions because of a personal reason? We have this blind faith in the jury system, as if it's been ordained by some deity of truth, when we know that juries can be as corrupt as the people they're supposed to judge—just look at some of the infamous cases of white juries convicting blacks in the bad old days of the South. Look at the OJ case for heaven's sake.

Heck, if Zagel can tell the defense he can limit them to just two lawyers, to be fair, he should limit the prosecutors to just two of them, as well.

As to this holdout juror, shows ya, the system works. I'd have voted the exact same way.

What about the 11 who sought to read this women the riot act, with the request her signed oath be brought in? What about the guy who changed seats to "stare her down?"

If Zagel was decent, the man who changed seats to be intimidating, whould have been the dude who got thrown off!

Not that Zagel is fair. I don't expect this from judges, anymore. But the intimidation that went unchallenged? And, KNOWING that in Ryan's case, he went to prison when the lone holdout juror was thrown off the case by the Chicago judge.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on August 27, 2010 9:30 AM.

Prosecutors just yesterday offered Rob Blagojevich a separate trial was the previous entry in this blog.

Robert Blagojevich on testifying against his brother: "I've got nothing bad to say about him." is the next entry in this blog.

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