Former Governor Rod Blagojevich's lawyers will ask a federal judge to sentence the former governor to no prison time, the ex-governor's attorney, Shelly Sorosky said today.
Sorosky called Blagojevich a "fit candidate" for probation when his sentencing does happen. Today, U.S. District Judge James Zagel announced the Oct. 6th sentencing date would be delayed. Sorosky predicts it will happen in early November.
"He's a fit candidate for probation. The taxpayers never lost a dime. Blagojevich never received a dime," Sorosky said of his client who was convicted on 17 of 20 counts of corruption in June. Blagojevich was convicted of trying to extract a job or campaign contribution in exchange for appointing a replacement to President Obama's vacant Senate seat.
"And all the talk involving campaign contributions involved regular campaign donors who were just discussing with Blagojevich how much to give or who were big campaign contributors in the past," Sorosky argued.
Sorosky's comments illustrate how distant the gulf is between defense lawyers and the prosecution when it comes to sentencing issues. Prosecutors have calculated the guideline sentencing range for Blagojevich at 30 years to life. The numbers were called "cruel" by the defense.
Prosecutors though said they had to come up with those numbers but hadn't made a recommendation to Zagel. Factored into their range was the potential loss of $1.5 million -- what Blagojevich thought supporters of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. would pay if Blagojevich had appointed Jackson to the Senate seat. Neither the appointment, nor the payment happened, though. The defense has argued that it was never going to happen.
Legal experts have said that Blagojevich is more likely to face a sentence of about 10 to 12 years.