Jurors said it took them several days just to figure out how to begin to break down their assignment into manageable tasks — not to mention how to understand the legal terminology (what exactly is conspiracy to commit extortion?). These were early hints of the multiple stumbling blocks they would find as they struggled, but failed, over 14 days of deliberations, to reach a verdict on any of the counts but one.You know, when someone is blabbing a lot dreamy thoughts, it might add up to a whole bunch of nothing. Wait. I got distracted. We're still talking about Blagojevich, right?
It also became clear early on that some jurors believed that much of Mr. Blagojevich’s crass political talk — captured in hours of secretly recorded phone calls — amounted to dreamy thoughts of what he might gain, not criminal demands.
“A lot of it came down to, ‘What was his intent?’ ” [Steve] Wlodek said. “You could infer something if you looked at it one way, or not if you looked another.”That's reasonable doubt. Didn't you at least get the memo that when there's reasonable doubt, you're supposed to find the defendant not guilty?
After initial frustration and confusion upon arriving in the deliberation room with little sense of what to do next, the jurors laid out a plan.Good for them. There must have a been a temptation to look at the whole big tangle and make an intuitive guess that he's a crook, then try to see where the actual crimes are. Ah, but that's sort of what they did. Read the linked article. The votes kept splitting over all the crimes except the charge Blagojevich tried to sell the Senate seat. On that one, there was a lone holdout. None of the jurors will reveal who this person was, except to say that she was one of the women.
On large sheets of paper, they wrote down crimes Mr. Blagojevich was accused of committing, and taped each one on the walls around the room. On the sheets: a claim that he had sought political contributions in exchange for legislation to help a local pediatric hospital; another that he had sought a political fund-raising event in exchange for state financing for a school; another that he had sought payments for a law that would benefit the horse racing industry; and so on.
Mr. Wlodek described her stance as “very noble,” adding: “She did not see it as a violation of any laws. It was politics. It was more of conversations of what-ifs.”If it were a play, she'd gradually win the rest of them over.
The linked NYT article seems to be written around the theme that if only the prosecutor had simplified the case and concentrated on the charge of selling the Senate seat, Blagojevich would have been convicted on a corruption charge. If that's the case, then, on retrial, the prosecutors know what to do. Won't they win?
Consider what the defense has learned. Even though only one juror held out, she held out for a long time, under great pressure. The other jurors clearly respect her. She was "very noble." On retrial, the defense will, I presume, try to make all the jurors feel the doubt she did. Was it not reasonable doubt?