Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Blagojevich lawyer "quite certain" ex-gov's sentencing will be delayed

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After a federal judge today said the trial of Springfield millionaire William Cellini will go forward on Oct. 3,
Rod Blagojevich's lawyer, Sheldon Sorosky, said this afternoon that he's "quite certain" the ex-governor's sentencing will be delayed.

"Our sentencing date is going to be continued," Sorosky said, when told of the news that U.S. District Judge James Zagel kept Cellini's Oct. 3 trial date intact and asked that prosecutors have witnesses ready for Oct. 5. Blagojevich's sentencing right now is scheduled for Oct. 6. "It's not going to happen, I'm telling you. It would taint the Cellini jury. I'm quite certain it will be continued."

Cellini was a onetime co-defendant of Blagojevich. In court today, Cellini lawyer Dan Webb raised questions about publicity from Blagojevich in general affecting his client and asked that potential jurors be questioned individually. Webb asked Zagel in court about the ex-governor's sentencing date and the judge cut him off: "We'll deal with that later," Zagel said.

There is a status hearing in the Blagojevich case Wednesday.
"I assume Judge (James) Zagel in his wisdom will probably tell us (on Wednesday) we're being continued on the 6th," Sorosky said.

Prosecutors would not comment after court.

The Blagojevich sentencing promises to be a heated fight, after prosecutors calculated the former governor's possible sentencing range at 30 years to life. Prosecutors though said they were required to come up with calculations under law and have not made their recommendation on what sentence should face yet.

Cellini is accused of trying to extort a businessman into giving a campaign contribution to Blagojevich.

The Chicago Sun-Times earlier this month first reported that a delay was likely for Blagojevich.

Zagel did not rule on the government's request to bar the defense from poking into the racy past of top witness Stuart Levine. Webb said he needed time to respond to a couple of petitions put forth by the government.

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8 Comments

bagwhan; If Dan Webb is losing all his cases, maybe he never 'really' changed sides afterall...could the fed's be "hoping" Blago will flip? and testify against Cellini?? That doesn't seem very likely but who knows??? The feds case is weak, Rezko was not convicted in the Roseberg indictments and the feds witness list is lacking...They will never let Rezko testify, Chris Kelly is dead, Blago won't cooperate and Levine is a witness disaster...Stuart had memory problems 3 years ago at the Rezko trial not to mention him getting caught lying to the defense about going "cold turkey" and then admitting he used drugs a couple of times after being picked up by the feds...

Blago is innocent!

Delaying Blago's sentencing until after the Cellini trial could have an adverse effect on Blago's sentence; evidence uncovered at the Cellini trial could hurt him and lead to a more severe sentence.

However the 30 years to life requested by the prosecutors is so excessive as to be ludicrous! One factor in Blago's defense is that that, unlike George Ryan's sale of commercial drivers' licenses to unqualified people, resulting in the deaths of 13 individuals, including six children of one family, Blago's corruption caused no fatalities. Blago's sentence should not exceed the six and one-half years imposed on George Ryan.

What does it matter if sentencing is delayed, we all know he is headed for prison and rightfully so. He traded in his integrity, and trust of the voters for money, and power. What bugs me is his appearances on radio and TV, making money while attacking the prosecutor, and the feds claiming its a frameup. Blago ranted and raved, dragging everything he could find tossing plenty of smoke screens all around, bascially telling us what we already know there is plenty of corruption, and now Blago is part of it....

Honestly -- does the fact that Blagojevich is sentenced or not have any effect on his testimony? Other than he might be a little testier on the stand knowing he is going to imprisoned for X years? If he IS sentenced and refuses to testify, doesn't that reinforce the evidence used to convict him?

Does Dan Webb ever represent anyone not guilty, or the kind of corruption he used to fight when on our side? The list of bums this guy has defended, and lost cases for (thank goodness) is like a list of the worst officials ever. Talk about changing sides.

Did the prosecution win their motion not allowing in Stuarts not so secret past?

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on September 23, 2011 12:40 PM.

Cellini prosecutors: Don't ask our star witness about drug-fueled parties, personal life was the previous entry in this blog.

Judge strikes Blagojevich sentencing date; will set new date is the next entry in this blog.

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