Tuesday, August 9, 2016

BLAGO UPDATE: No Shortened Sentence Despite Family Pleas

Disgraced ex-governor Rod Blagojevich will not receive a shortened sentence, the Springfield State Journal-Register reports. 

A federal judge who was ordered to resentence the former politician has decided to keep the original 14-year term on corruption counts. 

U.S. District Judge James Zagel on Tuesday ignored pleas for leniency from Blagojevich's wife and daughters in making the ruling. Attorneys for Blagojevich had asked for a 5-year reduced term after a federal appeals court.

In addition to the pleas from family members, the one time Illinois governor said at his resentencing that he regrets "mistakes and misjudgements" he's made in the past. 

Blagojevich spoke calmly Tuesday morning, while addressing a Chicago federal court via live video feed from a Colorado prison, saying he realizes it was a mistake to have lashed out in public when he was unhappy with how his past legal proceedings were going. 

He said being a good father has kept him going during his 14-year prison term and that he has come to recognize that he brought what happened to him on himself, while also highlighting his work with fellow inmates. 

It was all for naught however, as Judge Zagel concluded "these are serious crimes that had impact on the people of Illinois." 

The judge also said it's "an unfortunate reality" that Blagojevich's innocent family members are made to suffer the consequences. 

According to the State Journal-Register report, Blagojevich looked down briefly when Zagel made his decision, but otherwise stared ahead holding a straight face. 

Information provided by the State Journal-Register

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