CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Jury Finds Blagojevich Guilty of Corruption"

From the New York Times:

The jury — 11 women and 1 man — took 10 days to reach their decision. The jury in the first trial deliberated for 14 days.

After that trial, jurors said the case had been too tangled and confusing, and it was clear that prosecutors took that message to heart. In the new trial, which began in April, prosecutors offered fewer, simpler charges, a notably boiled-down message, and a emphasis on the thought that Mr. Blagojevich did not need to actually complete any deals to be found guilty of crimes for proposing them.

. . .

In a defense that some non-Chicagoans might have understandably viewed as closer to a confession, Mr. Blagojevich insisted that his favorite idea was not a financial or job trade at all, but a raw political exchange: He explained to jurors that he really wanted to appoint Lisa Madigan, the state’s attorney general, to the Senate seat in exchange for help in getting his legislative agenda passed by her powerful father, Michael Madigan, the speaker of the Illinois House.

But federal prosecutors said many of his ideas — even though they never actually came to pass — were illegal. Whether he completed the deals or not really did not matter, they said. “The law focuses on ‘the ask’ not on whether there was a receipt,” Carrie Hamilton, an assistant United States attorney, told jurors in a closing argument.

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