By Natasha Korecki
After suffering a series of legal blows on Tuesday, Rod Blagojevich will have his chance to address the man who is to sentence him -- U.S. District Judge James Zagel.
Blagojevich appeared prepared to give those remarks yesterday. As he waited for court to start on Tuesday he furiously dug into his legal notepad. The entire sheet was filled with blue ink and the ex-governor was scratching out words, putting in new ones. He'd ask his lawyer a question then scratch out something else.
As the day wore on and it became clear he wouldn't address the court, the former governor sat more often with his hands folded, occasionally glancing back at his wife, who was seated in the front row.
Today, Blagojevich will have his chance to speak to the judge directly. At this point, after Zagel ruled that technically the ex-governor faces up to life in prison, an apology seems inescapable.
• Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar, the lead prosecutor on the case, will speak first at the 10 a.m hearing. He'll address Zagel on the prosecution's position. Schar said he would take just 20 minutes (not counting questions posed by the judge during his comments). Given Zagel's series of rulings on Tuesday that went for the prosecution, Schar probably doesn't need much more time than that to convey the prosecution's wish for 15 to 20 years of prison.
• Rod Blagojevich speaks. Typically in a sentencing hearing, the defendant speaks last and that will be the case for Blagojevich. Before Tuesday at least, the former governor was expected to give a relatively brief statement to the judge and, as his lawyer said, Blagojevich would "step up to the plate."
• Zagel speaks: Judge James Zagel had said he wanted to have a break between arguments and when he would impose sentence. It's probable that the judge will take a break after Blagojevich is through and return with a sentence.