Jury in Rod Blagojevich Trial Asks for Transcripts of Testimony

The jury in the trial of former Gov.

Rod Blagojevich could be hunkering down for lengthy deliberations after asking Friday for a copy of all the testimony in the two-month trial.

"Is it permissible to obtain a transcript of the testimony?" the note signed by the jury's foreman read. "It would be helpful."

U.S. District Judge James Zagel said he would reject the request but let the jury know he would consider releasing transcripts of specific witnesses. But the jury left a little before 5 p.m. without sending out any further notes. Deliberations are scheduled to resume Monday morning. The jury has deliberated for 2 1/2 days.

Lawyers, including a couple of former prosecutors, say the first two notes from the Rod Blagojevich jury could be sign that deliberations may take a while.

Yesterday, the jury asked for a transcript of the prosecution's detailed, step-by-step closing argument. Today, they asked for transcripts of the testimony of all 27 witnesses presented by the prosecution (Blago's defense did not present any witnesses).

Judge Zagel denied both requests. But on the first note, he speculated that the jury was having trouble walking through the 24 sometimes overlapping charges against Blagojevich. If the jury asked again, he said he might give the jury transcripts of all the closing arguments.