Murky outcome at Blagojevich trial now more likely after jurors hint at disagreement

Aug 13th, 2010 | By usnews | Category: U.S.

CHICAGO –  While many who heard Rod Blagojevich’s wiretapped phone conversations may have expected a tidy result in the former Illinois governor’s corruption trial, the notes sent by jurors this week suggest a far murkier outcome.

In a message to Judge James B. Zagel, the jury said they have managed to agree on only two counts after nearly two weeks of deliberations. They said they could not reach agreement on 11 counts and had not even begun to deliberate on 11 other counts of wire fraud.

“These notes have opened up all kinds of possibilities as far as outcomes,” said Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor not connected to the case.

As jurors try again in a 13th day of deliberations Monday, a number of scenarios could play out.

Most likely is the possibility of Zagel accepting only partial verdicts and declaring the jury hung on other counts. That, ultimately, could trigger a retrial on any undecided counts.

But a lot depends on just what jurors are hung up on in a case full of interlocking and overlapping counts, all of which are described in legalese that may well confound them.

Here are some possibilities about what may be happening and what could occur next:

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