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Seek New Trial For Blagojevich

August 19, 2010
By the News-Register

There is a reason our system of justice provides for mistrials due to "hung juries" - and for prosecuting attorneys to seek new trials. It is simply to ensure that justice is done.

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's lengthy trial on a number of charges is over - for now. Jurors convicted him of just one of the 24 counts against him.

Blagojevich has been accused of a multitude of offenses involving corruption while in office. Among the most serious is an allegation he used his power to appoint a U.S. senator improperly. Blagojevich allegedly solicited what amounted to bids from those interested in the Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama.

Jurors were unable to reach a verdict on that charge and 22 others, however. After a mistrial was declared on those counts, it was learned the "hung jury" resulted from just one person who did not agree with other jurors.

That, too, is how the courts are supposed to work: Unless all jurors agree on a defendant's guilt, there is no conviction.

Still, the vast majority of jurors were convinced firmly of Blagojevich's guilt. Otherwise, they would have voted for acquital.

Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to seek new trials on the charges against Blagojevich. We hope they do so, because of the gravity of allegations against him. In effect, he is accused of putting a U.S. Senate seat up for sale.

All Americans - not just the Illinois residents Blagojevich let down - are entitled to know whether the former governor is guilty.

 
 
 

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