Juror: Panel decided Blago’s fate Thursday, took weekend to sleep on it
By Lauren FitzPatrick Sun-Times Media firstname.lastname@example.org June 28, 2011 5:10PM
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 27: In this handout provided by the Chicago Tribune, Jessica Hubinek speaks out, following a guilty verdict on former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, at the Dirksen U.S. courthouse on June 27, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via Getty Images)
The 11 women and one man who found former Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty of 17 federal charges had already made up their minds late last week, one said Tuesday.
Jessica Hubinek of Carol Stream said at about 3 p.m. Thursday, on their ninth day of deliberations, she and her fellow jurors were decided. He was guilty of 17 of the 20 counts.
And in the careful, deliberate way they had discussed, reviewed and analyzed the evidence, they wanted to sleep on it and send their final decision to the judge Monday morning, said Hubinek, a 32-year-old librarian and married mother of a teenager.
“It was hard to deny the guilt,” she said of the weeks of testimony jurors sifted through. “It was the only logical conclusion you could have come to.”
Normally an avid reader, Hubinek found she couldn’t concentrate on books or on books on tape. The trial consumed her mind.
“It took over everything I was thinking about,” she said.
Her days went from 9-to-5 hours at the library a few blocks from her home, to days that started at 5 a.m. and didn’t land her at home until 7. She drove to the Metra stop in Wheaton, and then took a train downtown.
Her half-marathon training went out the window. She didn’t have time to swim. Fast food, jury room pastries and treats jurors themselves brought in to celebrate each others’ birthdays led to a couple extra pounds over the two months.
She’s already begun catching up on press reports of the trial, trying to confirm prosecutors’ claims that edits in Blagojevich’s recorded phone calls really only cut out only mundane details.
Because Hubinek took the judge’s orders to avoid the media so seriously, she missed a bunch of other big news too. A colleague asked her late in April if she had watched the wedding.
“What wedding?” she said, unaware of Prince William royal extravaganza with Kate Middleton in England.