Blagojevich Jury Finishes Day 7 Without Verdict
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UPDATED 6/21/2011 6:03 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – The federal jury deciding former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s fate finished its seventh day of deliberations on Tuesday without reaching a verdict.
The panel of 11 women and one man is weighing 20 corruption charges against Blagojevich following six weeks of testimony at his retrial.
Although jurors have sent two notes to the judge regarding their deliberations, they have not given any signal whether they are struggling to reach a unanimous verdict or simply taking their time going over all the evidence and all 20 charges. They did not send any notes to the judge on Tuesday.
A source told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov that jurors have been listening to the FBI wiretaps presented as evidence in the case. Given the number of wiretaps available to the jury, that alone could take a long time.
James Matsumoto, the foreman of the jury at Blagojevich’s first trial, said that he’s not surprised that this jury hasn’t reached a decision after seven days. He said he believes it means the jurors are carefully going over the 20 charges against Blagojevich and the lengthy jury instructions given to them at the end of the trial.
But Matsumoto said he knew early on in deliberations after the first trial that there was a divide among the jury over whether to convict or acquit Blagojevich. So it’s possible there’s already a divide among this jury.
At Blagojevich’s first trial, the jury deliberated for 14 days before convicting Blagojevich of lying to the FBI, but deadlocking on 23 other counts against him.
Blagojevich, 54, is facing 20 charges at his retrial, including allegations that he was trying to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. He has pleaded innocent to all charges.
–Todd Feurer, CBS 2 Web Producer