Former Probation commissioner John J. O’Brien and two close aides — William H. Burke III and Elizabeth V. Tavares — were found guilty Thursday in federal court of political corruption charges.

The trial was a marathon, lasting 10 weeks.

As the courtroom drama unfolded, it became clear that while the specific charges of racketeering conspiracy were aimed at O’Brien and his deputies, the unspoken defendant was a State House culture that favored political deals — no matter what the cost to the public good.

Inside the courtroom, the verdict was a shock to the defendants with O’Brien’s wife collapsing. She was carried out of the courthouse on a stretcher.

In a nutshell, O’Brien and his cohort were found guilty of delivering jobs to questionable applicants at the behest of state legislators.

Federal prosecutors called this system a “sham.”

After 35 days of testimony involving more than 50 witnesses, it took the jury seven days to return a verdict.

Conventional legal wisdom held that the longer the jury deliberated, the greater the chances of conviction.

In the days preceding the trial, and throughout its early weeks, there was an unspoken sense within much of the political community that O’Brien’s style of operation may have been questionable, maybe even have run counter to sound public policy, but that it was not a crime.

Jobs-for-favors, so this reasoning went, was business as usual on Beacon Hill.

Indeed, Judge William G. Young frequently instructed the jury that political patronage, per se, was not a crime.

The jury clearly found that the shenanigans at the Probation Department were in fact criminal.

That is in marked contrast to a Suffolk Superior Court jury which last year found O’Brien was not guilty of multiple counts of conspiracy.

O’Brien was accused of using his influence as probation chief to secure a job for his wife in 2005 at the State Lottery Commission.

Given that this is a statewide election year, it is hard to imagine that the O’Brien verdict will not have a political ripple effect.

The traditional route to the governor’s office has been to run against the Massachusetts Great and General Court, the official name of the two houses of the legislature considered together.

That is how Republicans William Weld and Mitt Romney won the corner office in 1990 and 2003, respectively.

In fact, slamming the legislature was a key element in the 2007 election of Gov. Deval Patrick.

The corruption in the Probation Department came to light as a result of a series of articles in the Boston Globe by its “Spotlight” investigative team on May 23 and 24 of 2010.

A firestorm of public outrage followed.

More importantly, so did the investigations by law enforcement that led to O’Brien’s two indictments.

Although three people were charged and convicted in federal court Thursday, in the popular imagination the case was thought of as “The Probation Scandal.”

On Twitter, political aficionados referred to it as #obrientrial.

As the trial was drawing to a close, the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz took a step that left little doubt that prosecutors believed O’Brien was merely a front for a cabal of the politically connected who used the Probation Department as a venue for grace-and-favor hires.

Chief among these, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office, was House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo.

DeLeo lashed out at Ortiz, calling her tactics “desperate”. (For the text of DeLeo’s statement, click here.)

Whether or not the DeLeo allegations will develop political or legal legs is unclear at this moment. At the State House, reaction to the convictions was muted among Democrats.

Political corruption is a political paradox. The public is against it. And polls show that the legislature is not held in high regard.

But when it comes to removing individual legislators from office, the odds are long.

Nevertheless, the three House speakers previous to DeLeo stepped down as a result of federal indictments.

That is a sobering set of precedents.

“If I were Speaker DeLeo, I would not yet be breathing easy,” said noted defense attorney Harvey A. Silverglate.

According to Silverglate, the assumption that the statute of limitations on any alleged wrongdoing by DeLeo may not be correct.

“In the hands of federal prosecutors the statute of limitations are often very malleable,” said Silverglate.

Those convicted, Silverglate said, often come under great pressure to cooperate on aspects of a case federal authorities hope to make.

To date, the Democratic establishment has acted as if it had a vested interest in standing by DeLeo.

Witness Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s statement early in July praising DeLeo’s gun control proposal. It came at what was an indelicate moment for DeLeo — after the U.S. Attorney’s attack, but before the public had a chance to make up its mind about DeLeo’s counterattack.

The political question of the moment, however, is what hay will the Republicans — especially gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Baker — make of the triple Probation Department conviction.