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Columnist
Twelve angry jurors reveal Blago delay
By Chuck Goudie | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 8/16/2010 12:06 AM

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Beginning with his jet black mop top, the difficulty in sizing up Milorad Blagojevich - the accused racketeer - has always been trying to figure out what is the real Rod and what is part of his rehearsed character.

For the record, the hair is real.

Only the hair style is carefully scripted.

As a federal jury sweats four days a week to determine whether the ex-governor swindled and cheated Illinois taxpayers and voters, a few blocks north there is a sign in the front window of Harold Washington College.

It is an audition casting call by the HWC Loop Players at the end of this month for their production of "12 Angry Jurors."

The classic, well-written 1950's-era play is set in a jury room, where 12 people men decide the fate of a young murder suspect. More modern versions actually include women on the jury!

By law, jury deliberations are secret. With a few changes, the play script provides perfect insight as to what may be happening inside the room where jurors are debating the fate of Rod and Rob Blagojevich.

JUROR FOUR: A man can't be held in double jeopardy. Unless it s a hung jury, they can't try a man twice for the same crime.

JUROR SEVEN: That isn't going to happen here.

JUROR THREE: The only good thing was that Rod didn't put on a defense so we didn't have to listen to his loudmouth lawyer. Did you ever hear so much talk about nothing in his closing argument?

JUROR TWO: Well, I guess they're entitled-the prosecution really poured it on.

JUROR THREE: Everybody gets a fair trial. That's the system. I suppose you can't say anything against it.

JUROR SEVEN: How did you like that crap about the Obama Senate seat? Did you ever hear a phonier story?

JUROR TEN: Well, look, you gotta expect that. You know what you're dealing with? Politicians-

FOREMAN: All right let's take our seats.

JUROR SEVEN: Right. This better be fast. I've got tickets to the White Sox for tonight.

JUROR THREE: This is open and shut. Let's get it done.

FOREMAN: All right, we can handle this any way you want. If we want to discuss it first and then vote that's one way. Or we can vote right now and see where we stand.

JUROR SEVEN: Let's vote now. Who knows, maybe we can all go home.

FOREMAN: OK, all those voting guilty raise your hands-OK, not guilty?...

OK. It is eleven to one in favor of guilty.

JUROR THREE: Jeezus. Do you really believe he's not guilty?

JUROR EIGHT: I don't know.

JUROR SEVEN: Wow, after a five-week trial he doesn't know?

JUROR TWELVE: In five weeks I could learn to speak Mandarin in my sleep.

JUROR THREE: I never saw a guiltier man in my life.

JUROR EIGHT: What does a guilty man look like? He is not guilty until we say he is guilty. Are we to vote on his hair?

JUROR THREE: You sat right in court and heard the same things I did. ... You heard the tapes. He cheated sick kids and conned that racetrack owner. You could see it for God's sake.

JUROR EIGHT: Where do you look to see if a man is a racketeer?

JUROR TEN: Do you believe Blago's story about selling the Senate seat?

JUROR EIGHT: I don't know. Maybe I don't. He never told us his story. It was only his lawyer who told us that Rod wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

FOREMAN: He's still just as guilty whether it's an easy vote or a hard vote.

JUROR SEVEN: I think the guy's guilty. You couldn't change my mind if you talked for a hundred years.

JUROR EIGHT: I don't want to change your mind. I just want to talk for a while. Look, this Blago's been kicked around all his life. You know, an immigrant family, underdog in politics, and a Cubs fan. That's not a very good head start.

JUROR TEN: I don't mind telling you this, mister. We don't owe him a thing. You Bozos elected him twice. He got a fair trial, didn't he? You know what that trial cost? He's lucky he had that campaign money. Look, we're all grown-ups here. You're not going to tell us that we're supposed to believe him, knowing what he is. I've lived among these aldermen's and governors all my life. You can't believe a word they say. You know that.

JUROR NINE: What a terrible thing for a man to believe! Since when is dishonesty a group characteristic? You have no monopoly on the truth.

JUROR EIGHT: I had a peculiar feeling about this trial. The defense counsel never did anything and the really conducted a thorough cross-examination. I mean there were all those witnesses who said he was a crook.

If you want to know how the story ends, stayed tuned. Otherwise Harold Washington College will be putting on the play this fall.

Hopefully, the Blago jury will back by then.

• Chuck Goudie, whose column appears each Monday, is the chief investigative reporter at ABC 7 News in Chicago. The views in this column are his own and not those of WLS-TV. He can be reached by; e-mail at chuckgoudie@gmail.com and followed at twitter.com/ChuckGoudie.