3rd day of jury deliberations ends with no verdict in trial of former Chicago Alderman Ed Burke

BySarah Schulte and Tom Jones WLS logo
Thursday, December 21, 2023
3rd day of jury deliberations in Ed Burke trial ends with no verdict
Jury deliberations resumed Wednesday in the corruption trial of former Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, but no verdict was reached yet.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Jury deliberations continued into a third day in Ed Burke's federal corruption trial, but no verdict has been reached yet.

The former Chicago alderman faces fourteen counts, including racketeering and extortion.

Pete Andrews returned to the federal courthouse Wednesday morning after he was hospitalized for an unknown illness Tuesday. Andrews is co-defendant and a former 14th Ward aide for Ed Burke.

Judge Virgina Kendall's courtroom was empty most of the day while the jury of 9 women and 3 men were behind closed doors, deliberating.

Legal experts have said the case is a complicated one to figure out because there are 3 defendants and a mountain of evidence. In addition, Burke faces racketeering charges, which former Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy DePodesta said could be the most challenging for jurors.

"The racketeering count is certainly a complicated charge, with many different facets to it for the jury to have to work its way through," DePodesta said.

Long deliberations are normal for political corruption trials. The jury who convicted former Illinois Governor George Ryan took 10 days to reach a verdict. Jurors deliberated for 14 days during former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's first trial and 10 days after he was tried again.

"Juries really do try to make a really good effort to go through the instructions that have been provided by the judge and apply the law to the evidence that has been presented," DePodesta said.

The jury was given over 350 pages of jury instructions on Monday, along with evidence that includes close to 40 witnesses and over 100 recordings.

In all, there are 19 different counts that apply to Burke, Andrews and co-defendant Charles Cui. Burke faces 14 of them.

The jury left court for the day without coming to a decision. Deliberations are expected to continue Thursday.

Once a verdict is reached, there will be extensive live coverage wherever you stream ABC7 Eyewitness News.