Rod Blagojevich, the disgraced former Illinois governor, filed for an appeal of his 2011 corruption conviction this year, only to have prosecutors rip it to pieces in their 169-page response. The appeal filed by the former governor, running 100 pages long, based the request on the claim that Blagojevich had not committed a crime. Instead, what the former governor did was both legal and commonplace, the appeal argues.
Perhaps trying to bury the convicted former governor in their novel-sized reply, prosecutors from Chicago’s 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals called Rod Blagojevich’s appeal “an extraordinary claim,” according to Christian Science Monitor. Over the course of 169 pages, the prosecutors tear into Blagojevich for continuing to insist that his crime had been a typical “political horse-trade.” The rebuttal says that what the convicted governor did was “crime, not politics.”
The former Illinois governor had hoped for a new trial from his appeal request. If nothing else, they want a reduction of his prison sentence. His attorneys argue that 14 years in federal prison is an unfair and excessive punishment. These hopes, however, were dashed by the prosecutors’ vicious appeal rejection.
The appeal also argued that Blagojevich’s second trial was unfair and had been full of errors. Though the list is long, one of the points accuses US District Judge James Zagel of allowing a biased juror to pass jury selection, reports ABC News. The juror, named only as Juror No. 174, remarked of Blagojevich, “I just figured him, possibly, to be guilty.”
Rod Blagojevich was convicted on 18 counts in 2011 for attempting to bargain and benefit from his ability to appoint a person of his choice to a vacant senator’s seat. The seat had been Barack Obama’s, who left the office after becoming president.
The former Illinois governor is now in his second year of his 14-year sentence being served at a federal prison in Littleton, Colorado. Rod Blagojevich’s attorneys will be allowed to respond to the prosecutors’ rejection before a panel of judges rules on the appeal request.