Jurors, Attempts, and Blagojevich
The Wall Street Journal’s article suggests problems with the prosecutor’s case:
But even a host of character flaws may not persuade the jury that Mr. Blagojevich—who faces 24 corruption counts—committed any crime. Legal experts say the government’s case is strong but cite a big caveat: Jurors like completed acts, and most of the plans Mr. Blagojevich allegedly hatched weren’t carried out.
The U.S. Senate seat he is accused of auctioning wasn’t sold. The Chicago newspaper Mr. Blagojevich was said to have strong-armed didn’t fire anyone. The president of the Children’s Memorial Hospital didn’t give Mr Blagojevich the $50,000 campaign contribution he allegedly demanded.
The jurors will be instructed that in the case of conspiracy, intending to commit a crime is enough, said Ronald S. Safer, a former federal prosecutor turned white-collar defense attorney. And they will be told that prosecutors acted when they did to stop a crime wave before it happened.
But Mr. Safer acknowledged it is a lot easier to convict somebody of doing something rather than intending to do something.