Responding to news reports last night and this morning regarding former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's sentencing, the U.S. Attorney's office released a rare statement making a distinction.
As the Sun-Times explained in today's story, prosecutors' calculations of a sentencing range for a defendant sometimes differs from what they actually recommend to a judge. In their statement, prosecutors say they've not made a recommendation yet and have submitted calculations for what they believe the ex-governor could receive under sentencing guidelines.
For instance, prosecutors had calculated the range for former Police Cmdr. Jon Burge at 24 to 40 years but they did not make a specific recommendation beyond asking for "substantial time." Burge ended up getting 4½ years.
"The government has not recommended a sentence publicly or privately, not withstanding news reports to the contrary. The government has submitted a calculation of the advisory sentencing guidelines, as it is required to do in all cases. The sentencing guideline formulas are established by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The government submitted that calculation to the probation office as is standard practice and we will not comment on those calculations publicly."
Still, Blagojevich's lawyers called the government's submission to the U.S. Probation Department, which was not public, "harsh and cruel."