Still no verdict in Blagojevich trial

August 10, 2010 4:24:09 PM PDT
Jurors deliberating the fate of former governor Rod Blagojevich were back at work Tuesday as the courthouse buzzed with activity. Jurors are in their 10th day of deliberations in the corruption trial. There's no word on when to expect a verdict from the six men and six women jury, so reporters are camped out at the Dirksen Federal Building waiting for word.

They're joined by Blagojevich's main defense attorneys- father/son Sam Adam Sr. and Sam Adam Jr., who until today have left the courthouse observations to the other members of the defense team since the jury got the case on July 28. They, along with prosecuting attorneys, are in court to check in with Judge James Zagel, who said he will meet with lawyers from time to time during deliberations.

While long deliberations aren't uncommon in a case of this nature, the silence is. Jurors haven't asked a question in a week.

"I'm surprised, I went through the indictment Friday night and convinced myself, they've had enough time to go through the evidence, indictment and instructions at least once, and I'm sure they took a vote in the beginning and I think they're fighting. They're doing their jobs," said Michael Ettinger, attorney for Robert Blagojevich

"Obviously there's some people for us and some against us. We have no idea if its 11-1 or 6-6, but silence can only be taken to say they are working hard to try to resolve this situation," said Sam Adam Sr., attorney for Rod Blagojevich, the former governor's brother and codefendant.

"I don't know who will be more of a basket case. Nobody is prepared. We believed from the minute we got into this case, I got in on December 17th, 2008, that this was a not guilty. I prepared him for that. How do you look at your children on Tuesday and Wednesday you leave them? Who can prepare for that?" said Sam Adam Jr.

Sam Adam Sr. said the former governor is a nervous wreck. He told reporters he speaks with Blagojevich twice a day and that the Blagojevich family is trying to keep their daughters, Amy, 15, and Annie, 8, busy and away from the news.

"Their biggest problem is not letting this get to their children. Little Annie, who's eight years old, you know, they gotta keep all the news away from her. It's very difficult. She's scared she's going to lose her daddy," Adam Sr. said.

Blagojevich and his wife, Patti, came under fire after they brought their daughters to court during closing arguments. Adam Sr. said Amy wanted to go so Annie wanted to, too.

Blagojevich is accused of scheming to trade or sell the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President Barack Obama in exchange for his own appointment or campaign contributions, among other things.

The former governor and his brother, Robert Blagojevich, have pleaded not guilty. Blagojevich faces 24 counts ranging from racketeering to wire fraud while his brother faces four.

Robert Blagojevich's attorney said his client is running to burn off stress and keeping himself busy. "There is a difference between not guilty and innocent and Robert is innocent," Michael Ettinger, defense attorney, said.

During the trial, prosecutors played hours of secretly recorded conversations between Blagojevich and others. Those tapes are part of the evidence jurors had to go through.

Blagojevich's defense called no witnesses throughout the trial.


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