Now, Chiakulas has told her side of the story during an interview with the Chicago Tribune. Based on this interview, Chiakulas seems quite reasonable and professional.
Chiakulas comes across as a very level headed and conscientious juror. She tells the Chicago Tribune that "I could never live with myself if I went along with the rest of the jury. . . .I didn't believe it was the correct vote for me."
The Chicago Tribune explains why Chiakulas believed that the prosecution failed to meet its burden:
Chiakulas said she found Blagojevich's recorded statements on the Senate vacancy to be so scattered and disorganized that his actions did not reach the level of a criminal conspiracy.Chiakulas also described tension in the deliberation room, as other jurors tried to pressure her into voting guilty on the conspiracy charge. She also said that some of the women jurors felt that some male jurors did not respect their opinions:
One day he chattered about being the Indian ambassador, for example, then in the next conversation he discussed another plan. In the space of a few weeks, he talked about appointing, among others, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Oprah Winfrey or himself.
She said she never saw him formulate a clear plan to sell the seat.
Other jurors have acknowledged pressuring Chiakulas to change her vote on the Senate seat, with one man going so far as to switch chairs so he could "look her in the eyes" during deliberations. She was yelled at and told she wasn't being logical, jurors said.Chiakulas did not have kind words for Blagojevich, whom she described as "narcissistic" and as an "idiot." Ultimately, she voted her conscience after agonizing over the evidence for weeks. The media should salute Chiakulas for standing her ground and for doing precisely what jurors are supposed to do.
One person asked the judge for a copy of the juror's oath, implying that Chiakulas wasn't fulfilling her obligation. Chiakulas and at least two other female jurors said they felt belittled and questioned whether their gender had something to do with their treatment.