Aurora woman happy to have served on jury
She missed a trip to Arizona to see her granddaughter graduate from high school and didn't get to do her near-daily volunteer work with third-graders at an elementary school.
But Rosemary Bennett of Aurora enjoyed serving on the jury during the second trial of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
"It was a very interesting experience and I think somebody called for jury duty should be ready and willing to perform that service," she said Tuesday morning.
Bennett turned 73 during the trial.
"I was the old lady of the jury," she said.
She took the 7:22 a.m. train out of Aurora, catching up on her reading on the way. "I have a new appreciation" for commuters, she said.
The jury got along really well, she said; if someone was missing a birthday celebration, they would all gather around a cellphone and sing to the birthday celebrant. Some played cards together at lunch.
The foreman was "delightful. I so enjoyed meeting her," Bennett said. She recommended her for the job.
Jurors were warned to expect media attention after the trial, she said. On Tuesday, she gave interviews to several newspapers and television stations in her living room.
The seriousness of the work prompted her to seek God's help. She prayed every day during the trial, and so did members of her church, "that the Lord would help me make decisions on the evidence presented in court and not on personal feelings," said Bennett, a member of Union Congregational Church in North Aurora.
She previously had served on a jury in Kane County.
Different people were the holdouts on the three counts on which Blagojevich was not convicted, she said, and in no case was it a single juror, unlike the first trial. "For the most part we were in close agreement," Bennett said.
Should Blagojevich have taken the stand?
"He tripped himself up several times because he talked so much," she said, and at times the jury felt he was trying to manipulate them. But, "Generally, he is a likable person," she said.