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

Blagojevich trial: Jury signals they are close to a verdict

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki and Dave McKinney

It appears the jury may be on the verge of announcing a verdict.

The six men and six women sent out a note this morning asking for two things -- first, a copy of the oath they took when they were seated, and second, instructions on how to fill out their verdict form if they can't reach a unanimous decision on a certain count or counts.

Zagel said he would provide the oath and offer directions on how to complete the forms.

The jury's request for a copy of the oath could signal a new level of division within the group.

The prosecution pushed the judge to send an additional instruction asking the jury to "make every effort to make a unanimous verdict" -- but Zagel declined.

Instead, the judge said he would send a note stating, "I remind you that in addition to the oath, you have my instructions, which must govern your deliberations and decisions."

Zagel recognized that these questions show a verdict is near.

"Because the tenor of the note indicates there is at least a possibility a verdict may be returned this week, I've entered an order requiring the defendants to be no more than a half-hour journey to the courthouse," the judge said.

Attorneys filed into Judge James Zagel's courtroom at around 11:35, after beginning the hearing in a private room with the defendants on the phone.

While the outcome is still anybody's guess, the attorneys displayed definite body language. The prosecutors appeared serious and dour; the defense team, on the other hand, appeared more jovial than usual. Rod Blagojevich's attorney, Sam Adam Jr., was even spotted flashing a grin.

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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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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on August 17, 2010 11:42 AM.

Blagojevich trial: Jury sends out another question, defendants asked to "call in" to hearing was the previous entry in this blog.

Defense attorney: Jurors' tempers are frayed, expects to see a verdict this afternoon is the next entry in this blog.

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