Trials and Litigation

Jury Verdict in Blagojevich Political Corruption Case: Guilty Only of Lying to FBI


After two weeks of deliberation, a federal jury in Chicago has reached a verdict in the political corruption trial against impeached former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

In a result that surely must be a disappointment to prosecutors, he has been found guilty only of one count—lying to the FBI, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The jury deadlocked on the other 23 counts against Blagojevich, 53, who was accused of trying to barter President Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for his own personal benefit, the newspaper says, and also could not reach a verdict on the four counts against the former governor’s brother. Jurors were split 11-1 on the charge that the former Illinois governor tried to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Blagojevich, who faces a potential prison term of up to five years when he is sentenced, pursed his lips and slightly shook his head, the newspaper says.

The prosecution immediately announced that it intends to retry the case, while Blagojevich vowed to appeal the one guilty finding. He did not lie to the FBI and told the truth from the outset, the ex-governor insisted.

Meanwhile, attorney Sam Adam Jr., who represents Blagojevich, questioned what useful purpose will be served by spending another $25 million or so on a retrial.

Readers, do you think the Blagojevich jury got it right? Take our poll.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Blagojevich Jurors Want Copy of Oath; Defense Lawyer Regains His Appetite”

USA Today: “Jury finds Blagojevich guilty of lying to agents”

CNN: “Blagojevich convicted of lying to feds”

New York Times: “Divided Jury Convicts Blagojevich of Single Count”

Last updated Aug. 19 to note the 11-1 jury split on senate seat charge.

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