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Mon June 27, 2011
Breaking: Blagojevich guilty on multiple counts
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been found guilty of 17 of 20 corruption-related charges, including trying to sell President Obama's Illinois Senate seat.
ABC News reports:
A federal jury in Chicago this afternoon convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich of selling the U.S. Senate seat vacated when President Obama was elected in 2008.
The jurors told the judge this morning they had agreed on 18 of 20 counts, of which the most serious charges each carry a 10-year sentence.
The verdict was announced this afternoon as dozens of people lined the streets outside the federal courthouse.
Outside the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in downtown Chicago, a horde of media had been joined by dozens of Illinoisans, many with their cellphone cameras at the ready, according to the Associated Press.
This is the second trial for the Democrat. A previous trial ended with a jury hung on all but one charge, although he has maintained his innocence. But federal prosecutors elected to bring the case again.
The jury in the new trial -- eleven women and one man -- reached its decision after nearly 10 days of deliberation. Federal prosecutors streamlined their presentation after the first jury complained of an overly complex case. Last year's result was a hung jury on 23 of the original 24 counts, convicting Blagojevich on a single charge of making a false statement to the FBI.
-Brian Short, Michigan Radio Newsroom