by Warner Todd Huston | August 17, 2010 5:48 pm
The long awaited verdict in the trial of former Democratic Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich and his brother is finally at hand — at least a little. Blagojevich has been accused of trying to sell for personal gain his influence to appoint a senator to replace Barack Obama when he resigned the seat to become president.
Over the last week or so the jury revealed through a long parade of written questions to the judge that they were hopelessly deadlocked on most of the counts that the pair were facing. At one point the jury admitted that they could only agree on two of the 24 counts. Worse, they hadn’t even looked at the 11 wire fraud counts.
The fact is, though, that only two of the counts really mattered. The 2nd Count, racketeering and conspiracy, carries a 20 year maximum sentence, and the 24th Count, Lying to the feds, which carries a 5 year maximum sentence.
The jury never did come to much agreement on this case as it happens. But they did convict ex-Governor Blagojevich on one of the counts.
At about 4:30 the jury delivered their verdict on the only count they agreed upon. Count 24, lying to the feds. The jury agreed that Rod Blagojevich is guilty on this count. After that verdict was delivered the jury was dismissed for the day.
This means that Rod Blagojevich is likely to serve at least 6 months in federal jail. No news on the counts that the ex-governor’s brother faces.
Judge Zagel has announced, however, that he’s declaring a mistrial on the rest of the 23 counts. He is rescheduling a re-trial.
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