Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Blago II Predictions

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Last year, Ward Room correctly predicted that Rod Blagojevich’s first trial would end in a hung jury.

    Unlike U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald, we don’t believe in pushing our luck. So instead, we’re presenting a roundup of other people’s predictions for Blago II.

    ANONYMOUS DEFENSE ATTORNEY, QUOTED IN CHICAGO MAGAZINE:

    "You told me last summer that Rod would serve five years on the one count on which he was convicted, but a maximum of six-and-a-half years no matter how many other counts he was convicted on.
    I think he'll get six-and-a-half no matter how many more counts they get him on, but he could get more. Rod is incapable of saying he did anything wrong; because of his nonsense there is no way to cut a deal. If he had walked out of the courtroom last August, kept his mouth shut, he could have cut a deal for four to five years. Instead he responded with a tirade, and the Adams were worse than Blago.

    The government has streamlined its case to make it less boring and confusing to jurors. Should this help win convictions?
    I don't think they streamlined it enough. They should have dropped more of the counts. [There are now 20 counts; in the first trial Blago faced 24.]

    The first trial lasted two and one half months. How long will this trial last?
    Five to six weeks.

    What will the outcome be?

    He'll be found guilty on most of the counts."

    ERIC ZORN, CHICAGO TRIBUNE:

    "Rod Blagojevich will take a plea bargain prior to his second trial in April.

    Federal prosecutors fell one quirky vote short of convicting the former governor last summer on a raft of serious charges including racketeering and conspiracy, and ended up with a hung jury on all but one of the 24 counts. In round two ,scheduled for April, they will present a sharpened, streamlined case, and the financially strapped Blagojevich will be represented by a smaller, lower caliber defense team.

    He's sworn that he won't ever plead guilty, but he swore before and during his last trial that he'd take the witness stand, and he backed out of that. So though he may be nuts, we know he’s not crazy."

    CAPITOL FAX COMMENTERS:

    - wordslinger Guilty on most counts. The prosecution got to take a mulligan and presumably have sharpened their game. And it appears Zagel isn’t going to allow any of the razzle-dazzle, sleight of hand of the previous trial.

    - Anon I think that people are beginning to realize the strong arm tactics that the Feds use to convict. Somebody in the jury will sympathize with blago, and I expect a hung jury on all counts.

    - Anonymous 15 women on the jury? Hung jury on all counts, sadly.

    - Jeff  Guilty on all counts. Usually a safe bet in federal court, and he already beat the odds once.
    Sentenced to 10 years.

    - mokenavince Guilty on most but not all counts if he testifies.
    Trial over in 3 weeks Rod is running out of money.