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

Blagojevich sentencing hearing going prosecution's way so far

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Judge Zagel is one-by-one throwing out Blagojevich's attorney's requests for less prison time.

While Zagel said a sentence of 30-years-to-life which Blagojevich could arguably be eligible for is "inappropriate" he is accepting the prosecution's arguments for "enhancements" of Blagojevich's prison time eligibility in the non-binding federal sentencing guidelines.

He does believe Blagojevich was a "leader" of the illegal scheme, he ruled.

"Testimony intimated from several of the witnesses that they would rather avoid talking to the governor as opposed to whisper into his ear and guide his actions," Zagel said. "Frankly, based on those tapes, I don't think he was an easy man to stop. He rattled on to a long time ... His tone of voice was demanding. He was not a supplicant.

So there's the $1.5 million he was looking for for appointing Jackson, the $25,000 he was looking for from the CEO of Children's Memorial Hospital; the $100,000 he was looking for in exchange for signing racetrack legislation -- all that adds up to more prison-time eligibility, Zagel ruled.

As Zagel said he was ready to rule on guideline issue. Patti Blagojevich's brother, his arm around his sister, pulled her closer.

When Zagel said he believed Blagojevich DID try to get $1.5 million from Jackson supporters -- saying Blagojevich was "pretty relentless" in pursuing that option, the ex-governor looks down toward one of his lawyers.

On a short break now.

Abdon M. Pallasch & Natasha Korecki

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on December 6, 2011 11:24 AM.

Blagojevich judge siding with prosecutors in some rulings was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich calls first witness is the next entry in this blog.

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