Blagojevich jurors speak out, No smoking gun presented, Rezko for example
From the Chicago Tribune August 18, 2010.
“”They were very strong personalities,” foreman James Matsumoto said of the jurors. “They were all independent thinkers.”
He said he would have convicted Blagojevich on all counts, saying that the case slowly built, “layer upon layer.”
“You just say, ‘God, what was he doing?’ You find out here they were selling seats on boards and commissions. That to me was shocking,” Matsumoto said.
But in the end, he said, the “lack of a smoking gun” was too much of a hurdle for jurors to reach more than the one unanimous decision.
“We deliberated logically and with respect for each other’s opinions,” Matsumoto said. Still, he added, “it was very frustrating.”
Erik Sarnello, 21, of Itasca, said a female juror who was the lone holdout on convicting Blagojevich of attempting to sell the Senate seat “wanted clear-cut evidence, and not everything was clear-cut.”
Sarnello, a sophomore at College of DuPage studying criminal justice, said the main problem with the prosecution’s case was that it was all over the place.
“It confused people,” he said. “They didn’t follow a timeline. They jumped around.”
The foreman said jurors came close to convictions on a number of the 24 counts — as close as 11-1 — but remained far apart on others.”
Obviously, Tony Rezko is the biggest smoking gun.