Blagojevich Jurors Start Day 13

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Jurors return Monday after a three-day break to resume deliberations in the federal corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

It will be Day 13 of deliberations.

On Thursday, the jury sent a note to the judge that suggested that it was far from reaching a decision.

The panel had only decided on two of the 24 counts against Blagojevich, the note said.

It failed to agree on 11 counts and had yet to consider 11 others, involving wire fraud charges.

The former governor faces charges including racketeering, wire fraud, attempted extortion and bribery.

The two-term Democrat was removed from office in January 2009 amid accusations that he attempted to sell the U.S. Senate seat that had been occupied by Barack Obama before he became president.

In one conversation recorded by federal agents, he told an aide, “I’ve got this thing, and it’s [expletive] golden. I’m just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing.”

Conviction on the counts of wire fraud, racketeering and attempted extortion could each bring a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, while a conviction on the count of solicitation of bribery would carry a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

The maximum penalty for bribery conspiracy and false statements is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Blagojevich’s brother, Robert, is standing trial with him on four of the charges.

Robert Blagojevich testified that his brother was “trying to politically work something to his benefit” in handling the Senate appointment but was thinking in terms of political horse-trading, not corruption.”

“It didn’t seem out of the ordinary, because Obama was taking a lot of people from Illinois with him to D.C.,” said Robert Blagojevich, who raised money for his brother. He said the governor “was interested in the idea of being the head of Health and Human Services.”

While awaiting trial, the ousted governor asserted his innocence in interviews and on Twitter, as well as during his appearances on the “Celebrity Apprentice” reality TV show.

(Source: CNN)




1 COMMENT

  1. This story needs an update.
    The jury found Blagojevich guilty on one count of making false statements to the FBI Tuesday. They were hung on the other 23 counts.