Reporting with Natasha Korecki, Dave McKinney and Abdon Pallasch
Jurors told Judge James Zagel in a note that they have been unable to reach a unanimous decision on some or all counts and asked for guidance on how to proceed.
Zagel read the note aloud in court with a nervous-looking Rod Blagojevich looking on. The jury was not in the courtroom.
"In a situation where jurors cannot agree on a unanimous decision on given counts ... what should the next logical step be?" the note said. "We have gone beyond reasonable attempts" to reach a unanimous decision and "now ask for guidance."
Zagel said he was unclear on whether the jury had been able to reach a unanimous decision on any of the counts, and wanted to respond in writing asking them for clarification.
He proposed responding with a note saying, in part, "You should determine if you can reach a verdict on some of the counts."
The note asks them which counts, if any, the jury has been able to agree on, and also explains that it's "permissible" for them to submit a unanimous decision on some counts and be deadlocked on others.
The prosecution and defense agreed.
"We're fine with that," one of the prosecutors said.
"No objection," the Blagojeviches' lawyers said.
"I'll give this to the jury and we'll see what happens," the judge said.
Zagel closed by praising the jurors as "exceptionally disciplined" and said the jury room has been quiet throughout their 11 days of deliberating.
"If there is shouting or loud voices, you can tell. There has been none of this in this case.
The jury is, at least from my point of view, exceptionally disciplined," the judge said.
"I think on one occasion, a juror called in saying they would be late. In fact, they weren't late," he continued.
The jury had planned to go home for the night, Zagel told the court, so they will likely not be able to respond until Thursday morning.
Rod Blagojevich appeared straight-faced in the courtroom, keeping his hands folded in front of him. After court, he smiled faintly and shook hands with his lawyer and clapped him on the back.