The jury in the Rod Blagojevich corruption trial ended its tenth day of deliberations Tuesday--and don't appear to be any closer to a verdict. As reporters made another trip to the court house hoping for some new information Tuesday morning, Judge James Zagel invited them inside and said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times: "We are all exactly in the same position...We are all waiting."
While some speculate about why the jurors have not made a decision yet, others are concerned about the financial ramifications of a lengthy trial. The Sun-Times reports:
The former governor's campaign fund, which is paying his lawyers, has dwindled to its last dollars, opening the door to tap into taxpayer money.
There is only $75,000 left in the $2.8 million kitty and his defense team hasn't yet billed for the month of July -- arguably the most intense month for the defense since the 2009 indictment.
That likely means public money could be used to pay any remaining defense bills.
Aside from the financial stress, attorneys expressed their worry over the potential verdict Tuesday--but Blagojevich defense attorney Sam Adam Sr. told reporters he believes the lengthy process means jurors are split, which could be good for his client.
"Obviously, there's some people for us and some people against us," Sam Sr. said, according to NBC Chicago. "And we have no idea whether it's eleven to one, or six and six, or what the lineup is."
Some legal experts agree. Chicago Public Radio spoke with political law advisor Rob Kelner Tuesday, who said there is a fine line between everyday politics and corruption.
"In many different areas of First Amendment law, we allow things to take place that are maybe a little close to the line, a little edgy, a little icky-feeling, but we allow them anyway," Kelner told the station. "What's happened here is that the governor went a couple of steps further and really spelled things out more explicitly than sophisticated politicians typically do."
Kelner explained that while most politicians know better than to bring up legislation when asking for a campaign contribution, they do end up relying on people who want something from them most of the time.
"The jury goes back in the room and they go okay, we kinda know something was fishy in Denmark, but is it a crime?" asked Ken Gross, the former head of enforcement for the federal election commission."Did it ripen to the point where it becomes a crime and this man goes to jail?"
Perhaps on Day 11, the jury will make that call. But I wouldn't hold your breath.
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