Rod Blagojevich To Be Sentenced Next Week, Prosecutors Want 15-20 Years
Rod Blagojevich will be sentenced next week and prosecutors are saying that he deserves 15-20 years in prison. Blagojevich was found guilty in June for 17 counts of corruption.
Blagojevich’s attorneys and federal prosecutors filed motions on Wednesday. Judge James Zagel is expected to sentence Blago on December 6th.
Attorney’s representing Blagojevich asked the Judge for leniency saying that the former governor was “an intrinsically good, kind, and decent man.” Prosecutors, however, say that Blagojevich should receive the maximum sentence since he has been abusing his power “from the very moment he became governor.”
According to the Associated Press, prosecutors argued that Blagojevich deserves a sentence greater than his predecessor, former Gov. George Ryan, and former Blagojevich fundraiser Tony Rezko, who was sentence to 10 1/2 years last week.
“Blagojevich engaged in extensive criminal conduct with and without Rezko, provided no cooperation, perjured himself for seven days on the witness stand, and has accepted no responsibility for his criminal conduct… As the chief executive of the state, Blagojevich was in a special position of responsibility to the public. His abuse of office is particularly grave given the faith put in him by the citizens of Illinois.”
The former governor’s attorneys said:
“He was and is a politician, which can cause him to be perceived as shallow and self-promoting… However, his track record as governor reveals a genuine commitment to initiatives that benefited the middle and lower middle class.”
Blagojevich’s attorneys say that federal sentencing guidelines would suggest a term of 41 to 51 months. The AP notes that Zagel is not bound by federal sentencing guidelines or the recommendations of either side.
Most legal experts predict that Blagojevich will serve about 10 years. Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor, said:
“I think there’s a good possibility that Mr. Blagojevich could get between 12 and 15 years. I don’t think he’s going to get 20, though.”
Do you think Rod Blagojevich will get the maximum sentence?