Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich considered his verdict a victory on Tuesday, when he was only found guilty of one of twenty four charges filed against him. The jury was deadlocked on the other twenty three charges. The jury admitted that in the charge of attempting to sell a U.S. Senate seat, they were only one vote shy of a conviction. The one conviction was for lying to the FBI, which carries a possible five year prison sentence and $250,000 fine.
The prosecution has not given up and has stated that they will retry the former governor. Their plans will begin again next week.
The jury spent two weeks deliberating all of the charges before deciding it could not come to a unanimous verdict on the remaining charges. They also could not come to an agreement on the charges against his brother Robert Blagojevich. So while he was convicted of the one charge, he managed to escape conviction of racketeering, wire fraud, extortion and bribery. In January of 2009, accusations were made that Blagojevich was trying to sell Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat. The attention led to the governor being removed from his position.
The former governor has maintained his innocence all along and continues to do so. After the verdict was read, he stated that he had been lied about.
Had the former governor been convicted of the other charges his maximum sentence could have increased quite a bit. Some charges carried a 20 year prison sentence, while others carried a 10 year sentence.