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June 27, 2011

"Jury Convicts Blagojevich"

The title of this post is the headline of this Wall Street Journal piecereporting on the outcome of a high-profile retrial.  Here are the details:

A federal jury on Monday found former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty of 17 counts of corruption, including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.  The jury found Mr. Blagojevich not guilty on one of 20 corruption counts in his second trial and deadlocked on two other counts.  The verdicts came more than two years after Mr. Blagojevich, 54 years old, was arrested by federal agents.

Jurors told the judge they couldn't agree on two counts and were confident they wouldn't concur even if they kept deliberating.  Scores of onlookers gathered outside the courthouse to await the verdict.  Mr. Blagojevich arrived looking pale and shook hands and kissed a woman on the cheek when she wished him good luck.

The verdict was a victory for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who initiated "Operation Board Games" just a few months after Mr. Blagojevich took office.  In the hours after the then-governor's arrest, Mr. Fitzgerald said he had "interrupted a political corruption crime spree" and that Mr. Blagojevich had "put a for-sale sign on the naming of a United States Senator."...

Unlike his first trial, in which the former Chicago congressman escaped conviction on 20 of 21 counts, Mr. Blagojevich testified for seven days at his second trial.  He said his intent was to use the seat as leverage to pass legislation that would have benefited the residents of Illinois....

After court was dismissed, Mr. Blagojevich hugged his wife and kissed her on the top of her head.  Mr. Blagojevich was found guilty on counts including wire fraud and attempted exortion.  He was found not guilty of soliciting bribes.

His attorneys have until July 25 to request a retrial.  The judge told Mr. Blagojevich he may not travel outside the northern district of Illinois without permission of the court. "That doesn't mean I will never grant permission," Judge Zagel said.

Among other notable features, the conviction of Blagojevich now raises lots of interesting issues in the application of the 3553(a) sentencing factors.  Readers are highly encouraged to suggest they think would be "sufficient, but not greater than necessary" for this former Governor of Illinois.

June 27, 2011 at 04:14 PM | Permalink

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Comments

What is it with Illinois Governors? Can't they stay out of trouble?

Posted by: DaveP | Jun 27, 2011 4:49:09 PM

lol what i found interesting is this part!

"The jury found Mr. Blagojevich not guilty on one of 20 corruption counts in his second trial and deadlocked on two other counts."

2nd ILLEGAL TRIAL found guilty on 17 of 20 charges!

LEGAL first trial!

"Unlike his first trial, in which the former Chicago congressman escaped conviction on 20 of 21 counts,"

that's one HELL of a reversal!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jun 27, 2011 6:28:48 PM

Congratulations to my former colleage Patrick Fitzgerald for staying the course through a ton of criticism and proving today that rich, powerful people who line their pockets by selling their Office don't just get to walk away. This was a tremendous vindication.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 27, 2011 6:44:05 PM

yes it was bill

they showed they know how to stack a jury! pick a sandbagging judge and sucker the media!

just right!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jun 29, 2011 2:52:37 PM

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