Blagojevich guilty on one count; mistrial on 23 others
CHICAGO â€” The federal jury that found former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty of just one count of lying to federal agents was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of convicting him of more serious counts involving an alleged attempt to sell a Senate seat, two jurors said Tuesday.
Prosecutors pledged to retry the case as soon as possible.
“This jury shows you that the government threw everything but the kitchen sink at me,” Blagojevich said outside court. “They could not prove I did anything wrong â€” except for one nebulous charge from five years ago.”
But three jurors said the panel was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of convicting Blagojevich on more serious charges. Two of those jurors said those counts included trying to auction off the Senate seat.
Juror Erik Sarnello of Itasca, Ill., said one woman on the jury “just didn’t see what we all saw.” Sarnello said the counts involving the Senate seat were “the most obvious.”
Other jurors tried to persuade the holdout to reconsider, but “at a certain point, there was no changing,” he said. Said fellow juror Stephen Wlodek, “In the end, based on what happened today, the people of the state just did not have justice served.”
That so many jurors were convinced of Blagojevich’s guilt bodes well for prosecutors, said Joel Levin, a former federal prosecutor in Chicago who won a conviction of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan on corruption charges.