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

Blagojevich jury begins second day of deliberations after week of closings, mistrial motion

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The jury is back Monday for deliberations on the 20 pending counts against Rod Blagojevich.

Jurors have said they will deliberate 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Blagojevich's jury, of which 11 members are women and one is a man, picked a foreperson and a schedule Friday, according to Judge James Zagel.

The jury deliberates following a week of closing arguments and a defense motion for mistrial denied by Zagel Friday. The defense claimed they received an unfair trial from a judge who had already made his decision in the case.

"Truth is, you may not like us. You may not like our client. You have formed opinions from the first trial," defense lawyer Lauren Kaeseberg told Zagel Friday. "The truth of the matter is we didn't get a fair trial."

The defense also said Zagel misled them into putting Blagojevich on the stand. The judge countered Blagojevich knew testifying was his best choice. He also said he had not formed opinions on the case or the defendant's guilt, telling the defense team that's the jury's job.

The jury deliberates following a day and a half of closing arguments from the prosecution and defense. Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton painstakingly broke down the charges against Blagojevich and the tapes and testimony prosecutors say support their case. They also urged jurors to listen to every tape before finishing their deliberations.

The plea to listen to the tapes was echoed by defense lawyer Aaron Goldstein in his closing argument, who said listening would prove his client's innocence. Goldstein also tried to tear down government witnesses, many of whom received immunity or plea deals, and chalked up much of Blagojevich's talk to normal -- albeit overly chatty -- politicking from a very talkative governor.

"He didn't get a dime, a nickel, a penny," Goldstein said, screaming and pointing at Blagojevich. "He talked and he talked and that is all he did. ... They want you to believe his talk is a crime. It's not."

The last thing jurors heard from a lawyer before heading back to deliberate? These words from prosecutor Reid Schar: "Your verdict will speak the truth. And the truth is he is guilty."

Watch an excerpt from Blagojevich's post-closing argument news conference here.

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on June 13, 2011 10:31 AM.

#Blagojevich jury gone for the day -- judge denies mistrial motions was the previous entry in this blog.

#Blagojevich jury ends second day of deliberations is the next entry in this blog.

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