Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Jurors Would Like to See Retrial, Conviction

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Several of the jurors in the just-concluded corruption trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich said they believe the government has strong evidence against the well-coifed politician and said they'd like to see him retried.

    "The prosecution did what it needed to do, in my opinion" said Ralph Schindler from the backyard of his Arlington Heights home. 

    Schindler, who was known as juror number 137 during the trial, said he thought the former governor was guilty on all 24 charges.    

    "None of them were unanimous the first time we went through them.  Even the one we found guilty was not unanimous the first time," he said, referring to the jury's 11-1 vote on whether or not Blagojevich tried to sell the vacant U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder.  

    Juror John Grover said he hoped his panel would have been able to deliver more guilty verdicts.

    "I feel satisfied for what I was able to do.  I'm not really satisfied with the outcome of it, but I'm content on what I did.  I did my part," he said.

    Juror Jacklyn Ferino, 28, said the team worked to the best of their ability but in the end could not convince the holdout to change her vote.

    "That verdict was the best we could come up with," she told the Chicago Tribune.

    As for the jury's request on Wednesday for a copy of the oath they'd taken, Schindler said that was for him.

    "It had begun to become clear to me we were not going to reach a unanimous verdict on any but maybe one or two counts and I wanted to see if, based on the oath taken, I felt I had done what my job was.  I've taken a number of paths in my career, and want to make sure that I live up to them," said the military veteran who spent 21 years in the U.S. Navy.
     
    Schindler is not surprised by the prosecution's request for a retrial, but said it may be helpful for the government attorneys to provide another organizational roadmap for the jurors, just at a slower pace. 

    "I found it very difficult to keep up,  I couldn't write notes fast enough," he said.