Archive for Friday, August 13, 2010

Blagojevich jurors are stalled

August 13, 2010

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— A new message from the jury weighing the fate of Rod Blagojevich provided a few clues Thursday about their deadlock in deliberations, stirring speculation that the panel’s struggles could be good news for the disgraced former governor of Illinois.

In a note read in court by Judge James Zagel, jurors said they had only managed to agree on two of 24 counts against Blagojevich and had not even begun discussing 11 of the counts.

The jurors did not say which two of the 24 counts they had agreed on, nor what their decisions were. The judge instructed them to go back and continue their work, which they planned to do Monday after taking today off.

Their message raised questions: Did some jurors have misgivings about the prosecution’s case? Might some of them have dug in their heels against the majority? Or were they simply confused?

“It’s a victory for the defense for several reasons,” said Douglas Godfrey, a law professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, arguing that the way the government had presented its case was extremely complex. “If the jury hangs on 22, it’s a big blow to government.”

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