Jury of Blagojevich retrial ends first day of deliberations

June 10, 2011

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Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaking to the media after court with his wife Patti looking on. (Wildeboer)

Jurors at the retrial of former governor Gov. Rod Blagojevich have gone home after a few hours of deliberations.

The jury began deliberations earlier Friday after receiving copies of jury instructions.

In his closing argument Thursday, Blagojevich's defense attorney Aaron Goldstein told jurors that they should believe the former governor, who spent seven days on the stand.  Goldstein also spent a substantial portion of his time attacking the credibility of those who testified against Blagojevich, saying they just wanted to please prosecutors to avoid charges themselves. 

Several of the government's witnesses were involved in Blagojevich's dealings.  Some have pleaded guilty and cooperated with the government in exchange for shorter sentences.  Others avoided charges but testified under grants of immunity, which guarantee that they won't be charged.

Prosecutors told jurors that Blagojevich is a convicted liar, and they made fun of the defense for implying that the whole trial was a government set-up to frame an innocent Blagojevich.

The judge also told attorneys he couldn't guess how long the jury might take to reach a decision.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.