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

Blagojevich jury: We can't reach a unanimous decision; Judge to ask for more details on their deadlock

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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.

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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

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I assume that they will convict him on at least a few counts. Even if the jury deadlocks on a few counts, Blago is soon to be a convicted felon facing jail time.

GOOD! Patrick Fitzgerald is definitely NOT doing a jig! Maybe, the highway robbery, where voters lose their choice of candidate to party politics, will come to the ignoble end it deserves?

And, at least he's not going to get promoted into the FBI's top slot. Up ahead? Anti-climatic! Whatever Zagel does, he can't do what was done to Edwin Edwards. Too many eyeballs would notice.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on August 11, 2010 4:20 PM.

Rod and Patti Blagojevich arrive in court was the previous entry in this blog.

Attorney: Jury is "hopelessly deadlocked" on every count that involves an act is the next entry in this blog.

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