Jury in Rod Blagojevich Corruption Retrial Asks First Question - FOX 32 News Chicago

Jury in Rod Blagojevich Corruption Retrial Asks First Question


The jury in the Rod Blagojevich corruption retrial asked their first question on Tuesday afternoon.

In a note, they wanted advice on how to handle a discrepancy in their transcript binders. Some jurors apparently discovered that their transcripts for a phone call recorded on November 14, 2008 contained pages that were not in evidence.

The judge said the transcript binders will be fixed and he called this an insignificant, technical problem.

Since juries deliberate in secret, any peep from the jury room -- no matter how mundane -- is usually examined like tea leaves in a big case like this one.

Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama's former Senate seat. He was already convicted during the previous trial of lying to the FBI, but the first jury hung on the other counts.

About an hour after they asked their question, the jury ended their deliberations for the day without a verdict.

Someone who's watching the jury deliberations closely is Federal Prosecutor Reid Schar. This is the second time he's tried Blagojevich, but the first time he's been able to cross-examine him.

The Stanford and Northwestern-trained lawyer is described by friends as "one of the more brilliant lawyers" in the office.

"But, he also has the uncanny knack to talk to a jury in a common-sense way," said friend and former prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer. "That's somewhat of a unique characteristic for any trial lawyer."

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