Jury: Lone Juror Wouldn't Convict Blago

Woman wanted 'smoking gun,' prosecution confused case
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2010 9:21 AM CDT
Jury: Lone Juror Wouldn't Convict Blago
Juror Erik Sarnello of Itasca, Ill, talks to reporters inside his home. Sarnello says the holdout "wanted clear-cut evidence, and not everything was clear-cut."   (AP Photo/Lois Bernstein)

The jury in the Rod Blagojevich trial came exceedingly close to convicting him on a host of charges, but were held back by a lone, intractable holdout, jurors told the press today. “The person just did not see the evidence that everyone else did,” Juror Stephen Wlodek told the AP. Another, 21-year-old Eric Sarnello, told the Chicago Tribune that the juror who held out “wanted clear-cut evidence, and not everything was clear-cut.”

It’s unclear who hung the jury; Sarnello would only say that the holdout was female. He added that the prosecution’s scattershot case hadn’t helped. “It confused people,” he said. “They didn't follow a timeline. They jumped around.” Foreman James Matsumoto blamed the lack of a “smoking gun” for the mistrial, though he said he was ready to convict, and called the outcome “very frustrating.” Of the other jurors he says, “they were very strong personalities.” (Read more Rod Blagojevich stories.)

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