Blagojevich Jury: Who's The Foreman

I'm hearing that the jury foreman in the trial of Rod Blagojevich and his brother Robert Blagojevich is #135, described by Time Magazine (which doesn't state he's the foreman) as:

Juror 135: Japanese-American male, senior citizen. He was born in California's Manzanar internment camp in 1944, where many Japanese Americans were imprisoned during WW II. The retired former videotape librarian served as a Marine in Okinawa and is a Vietnam veteran. His wife was a Chicago public-school teacher. He once served on a jury that reached a verdict. He said that he considers all that he's heard before the trial on the Blagojevich case — on both sides — to be hearsay.

Robert Blagojevich has a distinguished military background. Maybe, if the foreman doesn't like hearsay (and remember, the government didn't call Tony Rezko, Stuart Levine, Jesse Jackson, Jr. or Rahm Emanuel) he won't credit what others said about them. Robert did testify, and by the accounts I've read, was very credible.

One thing I haven't seen much reporting on is how the individual jurors reacted to the testimony and closing arguments. That may be because so few reporters were in the actual courtroom, as opposed to the media overflow room, which just had audio. So it's too soon to say whether Juror #135 as foreman gives either brother a boost, but it could be a good sign, particularly for Robert.

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    I have mixed emotions (none / 0) (#1)
    by Saul on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 04:29:08 PM EST
    Yeah he probably was trying to get a quid pro quo but it never really happen.  Back room deals done by politicians so what else is new.  

    What Rod did is probably being done as I write or has been done in the past by most politicians  in other states  and is treated as  business as usual.

    If they convict Rod on this look at all those that did not get indicted in the past and probably will not in the future.   Politicians are smarter now because of Rod and will make sure they are no wires or phone lines being tapped.

    Plus he was not allowed many things to defend himself.  I feel this judge has it in for Rod from the get go.

    So I hope he gets off.

    Simple question, that I should know (none / 0) (#3)
    by Peter G on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 05:11:45 PM EST
    Did the judge charge the jury that a purely political deal or quid pro quo could be illegal, or only a deal for a personal benefit?  I can't understand how the feds could make illegal the ordinary (however distasteful and unprincipled) political wheeling and dealing that goes on constantly as an integral part of our political system, particularly in state and local government affairs.

    As for the jury -- in my experience (more as an observer than a participant, since I handle appeals; I'm not a trial lawyer) a jury that keeps deliberating past 4 p.m. on a Friday without reaching a verdict, thus making themselves return after the weekend, is having some serious difficulty reaching a unanimous verdict.  An impending weekend tends to encourage jury unanimity (sometimes in the form of a compromise verdict) better than anything else, it has seemed to me.


    That is what I said all along. (none / 0) (#4)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 06:35:44 PM EST
    "Hey Rod, if you help me in my campaign I'll try to get you a library for your district."  Happens a hundred times a day, right?

    But, if I said, "hey Rob, put $1000 into my glove compartment and I'll kill Sophie.....I'm going to jail.

    Blago's attorney could point to the Obama/Sestak/Primary attempt. "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, if you find that Rod committed a crime, then you also have to say, so did President Obama."


    Yup. After lunch on Friday (none / 0) (#5)
    by scribe on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 05:36:19 AM EST
    is when most juries tend to come in.  That way, they get another free lunch, don't have to go back to work, and get to start the weekend early.  

    These folks will be out for a while.  

    I cannot discount that, being Chicagoans, they have deep knowledge and cynicisam about the political system in that burg and know how things really work.  I think I've told this story before, but in case I haven't I will.  A law school classmante of a lawyer friend was, last I heard, an Illinois state senator.  He'd started out on the political ladder during law school, working a ward for the party and gradually making his way up.  Part of his job in the ward was one-on-one GOTV. Since the city required a particular type of trash cans, he (and many others) combined GOTV with delivering trash cans to those who needed new ones.  The back of his old station wagon was full with a stack of new trash cans of the city-required type, pretty much unobtainable elsewhere. He knew who'd voted (from the voter rolls) and would answer the calls for new trash cans from the houses who'd voted.  And he'd always ask whether they'd voted the correct way and reminded them to keep voting the right way.

    And so it goes - just on a larger scale.  That's Illinois.


    Hey, scribe (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Peter G on Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 12:27:17 PM EST
    I love it when you talk trash like that.