Rezko trial: First jury question

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The 12 jurors in Tony Rezko's trial just sent a note to Judge Amy St. Eve asking if she could give them a transcript of testimony from witness Michael Winter. Winter's testimony is relevant to the first count in the indictment -- though it is a lengthy count involving a complex scheme.

Winter is a Rezko business associate who shared an office with Rezko. He testified at trial that he allegedly agreed to funnel to Rezko a fee from Sterling Financial, an investment firm, and others as part of the teacher-pension fund scheme. Rezko allegedly wanted his portion of an illicit finder's fee directed to Winter. Winter testified Rezko told him: "I need more than a third (of the fee) because I need to take care of (fellow Gov. Blagojevich fund-raiser) Chris Kelly."
To keep under the radar, Winter, in 2004, asked that Sterling Financial use the name of attorney and political fund-raiser Myron Cherry, as its finder.
In denying the jury's request, St. Eve said it isn't her practice to give jurors transcripts. The note back to jurors told them they couldn't get Winter's testimony or anyone else's.
(The jury asked for the testimony of "Mr. Winters" his name has no "s" on the end).
The jury earlier today also asked the judge if they could adjourn at 4 p.m. a week from today because one juror wants to attend a grandson's 8th grade graduation.

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10 Comments

Why doesn't St. Eve read the testimony back to them again? I don't understand that - are they supposed to work from memory??? How's that???I've sat on jury's and at the jury's request testimony has always been read back.

and Holy Cow. They are already projecting to be there for the next week? How far apart are they?

That's bad for Rezko! It says that they are really looking at what Winter had to say which was basically, "Here are the people on the boards we can work with, here's how finders fees work, here's the split: three ways." Then Rezko said soemthing like "I need the biggest share becasue there are people I have to take care of."

If I was Rezko I would be scrambling to get a meeting with Fitzy.

These characters are right out of the play book , only in America. It's hard to believe that the media, was trying to connect these guys to Senator Obama. These guys were in Chicago pulling these kind of deals, long before the senator showed up.Barry, moves to Chicago out of Harvard , get involved in community activism and meet these characters along the way to the United States Senate. Marry a girl name Michelle in the wright church, move into an upscale neighborhood, and Williams Ayers lives down the street. he sets on the same boards you've been appointed to.Senator Obama must be The Magic Negro to put this group together in the same food chain takes skills.

Its impossible to tell what the jury is thinking here. One point of mention though. A juror asked if they could take off an hour early next Thursday because of a grandson's graduation. That may indicate that the deliberations are going slowly. Whether this is good or bad for the defense is not clear.

DavidE- I think we're reading into the taking off an hour next week thing a little too seriously. Obviously there are a lot of charges and the juror may just be covering bases in advance.

However, the more the jury looks at the case the worse it is for Rezko. All the testimony works against Rezko. The defense said "you can't rust Levine" but when the jury starts looking at all the other witnesses they will see they fortify the Feds case. That also tell's me they are serious and will look at the tapes. The tapes are bad for Rezko. Basically Levine get's his marching orders from the tapes- Levine is just Rezko's pawn. So if thye keep that in mind Duffy's primary argument, that Levine is bad, become mute.

rentamob- yeah the more that comes out the worse this crew looks. It turns out that Beck's son was working at Bear Stearns. That ties in with Kjellander and his connections to Rezko.

There are going to be more indictments coming. So many have already pled out- Glennon, Levine, Keiferbaum, Loren, Cari it's just a matter of time. Kelly is a goner.

The work that Fitzy is doing is cleaning up Illinois.

The judge's denial of the transcript guarantees Rezco's acquital.

I'm not from Illinois but in NY (my home city), whenever I've been on a jury, we were told we could have testimony read back to us and we'd be called back into the courtroom to hear the "court recorder" read it back. Reason given is that you review testimony in the form in which it was given. We were not allowed to see a transcript. But, we were not denied the opportunity to have it read back to us. Is this judge in somebody's pocket?

Steve- How's that? What experience do you have to prove that- r u a lawyer?

From what I understand this is not out of the ordinary. Also, both the DOJ and the defense would have been brought in before this was decided and it would have been discussed with them. \

Unless the defense objected in advance to the judges ruling then there would be no grounds for an acquittal nor a appeal. (MY guess is the defense didn't want the testimony read back because it was so damning.)

From a practicality standpoint actually I think it's good- the jurors are supposed to be attentive and keep notes and pay attention during the trial. Also, it would take too long to go over the thousands of pages of testimony.

Although I can't imaging 12 jurors agreeing on the idea that they all heard the same thing...

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Natasha Korecki

Natasha Korecki is the Federal Courts Reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, covering federal news, corruption investigations and trials.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 15, 2008 3:51 PM.

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