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
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)
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(Newser) – 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.”