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Blagojevich guilty in corruption trial
Question of the Day
This time, prosecutors called about half of the previous number of witnesses and asked fewer questions, in an attempt to streamline their case and make it easier for jurors. The trial lasted for six weeks, seven days of which were spent hearing Blagojevich’s testimony. Sergio Acosta, a former federal prosecutor, said the nine days of deliberation were not abnormal for a case with such complexity.
“I think you couldn’t characterize it as short or long. The government did streamline its case somewhat from the first trial and the jury has come back in a shorter amount of time than [the first jury] did. It makes sense that it took this long because there’s a lot of evidence for them to go through,” Mr. Acosta said.
Ralph Meczyk, a criminal defense lawyer from Chicago with extensive experience in white-collar crime, said he was not surprised by the verdict.
“I saw it coming because of the tapes. It was his tone of voice even more than what he said. That was the Achilles’ heel of the case,” Mr. Meczyk said.
He added that he did not think the media blitz affected the jury.
“I think juries work very hard to follow the judge’s instructions. They will look at the evidence very carefully and, believe it or not, they usually do the right thing,” Mr. Meczyk said. “They don’t talk to people about the case after they leave. They don’t look online or at newspapers. Maybe I’m shallow and naive, but I really believe it.”
“I think it was a good idea. He had to explain what he meant on the tapes. It wasn’t a ‘reasonable doubt’ case. To argue reasonable doubt was a waste of time. He had to get up there and explain what he did the best he could,” Mr. Meczyk said. “He did not go down without a fight.”
This article is based in part on wire service reports.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
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