Ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Appeal to Reduce Sentence is Rejected by Appeals Court
A federal appeals court today rejected former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s bid to shorten his 14-year prison sentence in a public corruption case.
Blagojevich’s lawyers had argued before the 7th U.S. District Court of Appeals that the former governor had already been behind bars for 5 years, was a model prisoner, and that some of the counts that he had been convicted on had since been thrown out.
Apparently, none of those reasons swayed the court.
Blagojevich, 60, had been convicted in 2011 and sentenced to the 14-year term for abusing his powers as governor, including by trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barack Obama after he won the 2008 presidential election. In 2015, the appeals court threw out five of the 18 counts on which Blagojevich was convicted and ordered his resentencing. Last August, however, U.S. District Judge James Zagel reimposed the same sentence, recognizing the pain Blagojevich’s family was suffering but concluding that “the fault lies with the governor.”
The written opinion from the three-judge panel says, “Blagojevich’s treatment of fellow inmates may show that outside of office he is an admirable person.” The opinion goes on to point out that Blagojevich is being punished for his acts as a governor, not as a prison inmate.
There’s been no statement yet from Blagojevich, his family, or his legal team.