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Lone Male Blago Juror: Women Were ‘Like My Secretaries’

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Blagojevich Juror John McPartland

John McPartland, the only man to sit on the jury that convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, had high praise for the 11 women he served with during deliberations. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 06/28/11 6:19 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – At the start of his retrial, some jury experts predicted Rod Blagojevich would benefit from a mostly female jury. But the panel of 11 women and one man proved those experts wrong, handing down convictions on 17 of the 20 charges against Blagojevich.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole got some insight from the lone male voice on the jury.

It wouldn’t be fair to call it an all girls’ club, but John McParland was the only man to sit in on deliberations.

“I’m sort of a shy guy anyway,” McParland said.

Even so, the group seemed to bond from the very beginning.

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McParland, a custodial worker from Villa Park, tipped his hat to the top quality organizational skills of his colleagues. He said the women’s organization skills helped him along during the trial.

“They basically helped through the process, yeah, because I just couldn’t believe the notes they were taking,” McParland said.

One of his fellow jurors, Jessica Hubinek, said “I had two full notebooks with Post-It notes in different colors and four different color highlighters.”

Hubinek, a librarian from Carol Stream, said most of the jurors had a similar uncanny attention to detail.

“They’re almost like my secretaries cause they took notes and notes and they have books and books of notes and everything,” McParland said. “I mean, I don’t know if they were doing shorthand or what but I can’t write like they do.”

Hubinek said the jurors really bonded right away.

“I think right away we were playing cards and laughing and just, you know, sharing stories,” she said.

In the hours of downtime, the jury apparently found friendship and respect in each other. That helped them through the difficult times during their deliberations.

“Nonstop talking, it was rarely a time when it would get very, very silent unless the marshal would come in and tell us to quiet it down because we’d get so loud,” McParland said.

“We would call some of the relatives of some of the jurors when it was their birthday and all sing happy birthday,” Hubinek said. “And there was a few times that they had to close the door.”

Truth be told, McParland got along just fine with all the ladies. He also pointed out that he was able to talk sports with the two male alternates who were dismissed when it was time to deliberate.

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