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So, What's Next?

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So, What's Next?
Jack Higgins
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After the corruption trial of former governor Rod Blagojevich ended with a single guilty verdict on one charge and deadlocks on 23 others, lawyers for both sides found themselves faced with the proposition of planning another one.

Almost immediately after the jury read their verdict, lead government prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said the government would retry the case.

The prosecution could decide to try a similar case, again going after 23 corruption and fraud counts -- or they could decide to trim the slate and try a leaner case focused more on racketeering. The hung jury must be seen as something of a defeat for the government, so they could decide to change their tactics significantly.

Perhaps this time around they’ll decide to call Antoin “Tony” Rezko and Stuart Levine as witness, two men they decided to omit from their case the first time around. The prosecution could also decide to charge Patti Blagojevich.

On the other side of the courtroom, defense attorneys may decide to actually stage a defense. During the first run Sam Adam, Sam Adam Jr. and Sheldon Sorosky decided to stand pat following the prosecution’s case. They rested immediately.

This time around they could call on their star-studded witness list, a docket that includes such names as Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett and Jesse Jackson Jr.

Rod Blagojevich himself could even testify -- something he originally promised to do -- but has declined thus far to comment on that possibility.

One thing that’s clear: the defense will be working at a decidedly lower pay rate. The Blagojevich defense fund ran out of money late last week, and now defense attorneys will have to operate on the $110-per-hour rate given to public defenders.

Another question that will have to be answered concerns Robert Blagojevich. Will Judge Zagel allow him to be tried separately like he wanted?

The questions will begin to be answered August 26 during the next scheduled court date.
 

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