Blagojevich jurors leave early Friday

August 6, 2010 3:20:56 PM PDT
Jurors in the trial of former governor Rod Blagojevich got a head start on the weekend. They left the federal courthouse around 1:30 p.m. Friday. six men and six women have been deliberating the fate of the former governor for more than a week. They got the case last Wednesday- and have had just a few questions.

The defendants are anxious. The attorneys are nervous. And, everyone else is just waiting.

But no one --except the jurors, themselves-- knows what is going on in the jury room. Are they getting along? Are they stuck? Are they getting close to a verdict?

"I don't think the deliberations have been very long. It's expected. Going on at a normal pace," Ron Safer, former assistant U.S. attorney, said.

Safer has tried many cases and watched many juries, including corruption cases that, often, like the Blagojevich case, involve more than one defendant in a multiple count indictment with complicated law and a lot of evidence.

"So they have to apply that evidence to each of the elements for each of the counts, which are 24, for both of the defendants. That's a lot of work," Safer said.

Just a week ago, the jury asked for witness transcripts but were told by the judge they'd have to narrow the scope of their request. They didn't come back with any further requests that day- and have not sent a note since then.

"What you don't have is a note saying, 'We don't understand X. We need help in understanding with contrary views. We are deadlocked. One juror is not deliberating.' You have none of that. So I think you can conclude they're getting along very well," said Bill Grimes, trial consultant.

Jurors are expected to be back Monday morning for their ninth day of deliberations.

The former governor and his brother, Robert Blagojevich, have both pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to sell or trade an appointment to Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat.


Load Comments