The six men and six women meeting to decide the fate of Rod Blagojevich caused a major stir in the courthouse today with a note sent to the judge: "In a situation when a jury cannot agree on a unanimous decision on given counts, what should the next step be?" The jury says it has "gone beyond reasonable attempts" to reach an agreement. Judge James Zagel told the jury to keep trying... but nobody outside the courtroom knows how long that will take. Zagel apparently did tell the jury that it was okay to agree on some charges if not all, but he wants to know specifically which counts the jury has deadlocked on.
The jury has been deliberating for 11 days so far. Blago is facing a total of 24 counts, including racketeering, wire fraud and lying to federal authorities. He's accused of trying to sell or barter Barack Obama's former senate seat. His brother Robert is facing 4 counts. Blago and attorneys were asked to come down to the Dirksen Federal building today, as the judge deals with the matter.
It's the first serious movement there's been at the Dirksen Federal building in Chicago since deliberations began. Early on, the jury asked for transcripts of the trial. The judge agreed to give them transcripts from certain witnesses. Blago had not been coming to the courthouse during deliberations before today.
"I missed you guys" Blagojevich told the members of the media, waiting in the courthouse.
The jury will be back at the courthouse tomorrow morning to see if they can reach an agreement. Attorneys, and probably defendants, will be there too.