Juror: ‘Most interesting thing I’ve ever done ... And the most boring’
By Lauren FitzPatrick Sun-Times Media firstname.lastname@example.org June 28, 2011 10:40AM
Juror Karin Wilson of Palatine and other jurors speak out, following a guilty verdict on former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, at the Dirksen U.S. courthouse, Monday, June 27, 2011. A federal jury today convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich on 17 of 20 counts, finding he abused the powers of his office in attempted shakedowns captured on undercover government recordings. (AP Photo/Antonio Perez, Pool)
Updated: June 28, 2011 3:59PM
As she’s done since April while commuting to the federal courthouse, Karin Wilson hopped a train Monday night from downtown Chicago to her home in Palatine.
Only this time, after voting to convict former Gov. Rod Blagojevich on 17 of 20 felony charges, Wilson, a 48-year-old teacher and mother of two, got to go back to being normal: family, dinner, a little cleaning.
“My daughter had made a cake, which was so sweet,” she said. “We had a family meal together and a little cake.”
When she was picked as a juror, Wilson said goodbye to her 3rd and 4th grade students, leaving them in the hands of a long-term sub.
“I feel very badly for my students and their parents that the end of the year had to be disrupted,” she said. “I explained to them what our civic duty was, but they’re little kids.”
Her days during trial and testimony started with a 7:15 a.m. train into the Loop, and a commute home nearly 12 hours later, when she’d review lesson plans and answer emails from school.
“There is a lot of sacrifice but that’s our right and privilege as citizens of our country,” she said.
When deliberations started, the jury of 11 women and one man decided they would wrap up between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m., in time for many to deal with family commitments — one of many signs of how well the group truly got along.
Wilson wouldn’t say whether she voted for Blagojevich. But she’s eager this summer, while hanging out with her daughter and 18-year-old son, to read about Blagojevich’s first trial that ended in a hung jury, and find answers to a few questions she wondered about during the second.
“It was the most interesting thing I’ve ever done,” Wilson said. “And the most boring thing I’ve ever done.”