Monday, November 7, 2011

Blagojevich to make statement at sentencing

A federal judge on Monday set sentencing for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich for Dec. 6.

The disgraced former governor was convicted last summer on sweeping corruption charges, including allegations that he tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated in 2008 by Barack Obama's election as president.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel set the sentencing date at an unscheduled status hearing Monday afternoon attended by just one reporter. A Blagojevich lawyer later confirmed that the former governor plans to speak at the sentencing hearing. He testified during his second trial.

Zagel set aside Dec. 7 if the sentencing takes more than one day to complete.

The judge had originally scheduled Blagojevich's sentencing for Oct. 6, but it was indefinitely postponed because Zagel was then presiding over the trial of a Blagojevich co-defendant, William Cellini, a Springfield power broker who was convicted last week. Prosecutors have said that under federal sentencing guidelines, Blagojevich faces as much as 30 years to life in prison, but the government has yet to disclose what sentence it will seek.

Lawyers for Blagojevich maintain that he should get probation.

The former governor was convicted of a single count of lying to the FBI at his first trial last year. After that jury deadlocked on all the other charges, he was retried by a separate jury and convicted in June on 17 of 20 countsof wire fraud, bribery, attempted extortion and conspiracy.


Post a Comment