Ex-Illinois Governor Blagojevich's 14-year prison term upheld

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 21, 2017 10:35 AM

(Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Friday rejected former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's bid to shorten his 14-year prison sentence in a public corruption case.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago rejected arguments by Blagojevich, who has already served more than five years in prison, that a lesser punishment was justified because of his behavior in prison, and because some of the counts on which he was originally convicted had been thrown out.

Leonard Goodman, a lawyer for Blagojevich, and the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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."

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Lisa Shumaker)