« Split Elevent Circuit refuses to reject Georgia's approach to implementing Atkins | Main | GOP candidate Ron Paul assails Obama pot policy and garners applause calling federal drug war "a total failure" »

November 23, 2011

"Rezko gets 10.5-year sentence; 'Enough is enough,' says judge in ruling that may bode ill for Blagojevich"

The title of this post is the headline of this Chicago Tribune article reporting on a high-profile sentencing that took place in a federal district court on Tuesday.  The article gets started this way:

Even before Antoin "Tony" Rezko's long-awaited sentencing began Tuesday, his teenage daughter appeared anxious, her arms clutching her stomach and her face already in a pained expression. Two hours later, when a judge sentenced Rezko, once a top adviser to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, to 10.5 years in prison, his daughter, Chanelle, broke down in sobs and collapsed into her mother's arms.

The sentence — one of the toughest ever handed out in the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse for a public corruption conviction — would appear to be bad news for Blagojevich, who is scheduled to be sentenced in two weeks by a different judge.

"Blagojevich could not have been happy when he heard the prison time that Rezko will serve," said former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer. "He could reasonably get 12 to 15 years in prison."

About 40 relatives and friends attended Rezko's sentencing to show their support. At times during the hearing, some bowed their heads or placed their hands over their hearts.

In brief comments to U.S. District Court Judge Amy St. Eve, Rezko apologized and spoke of the guilt and shame he felt for what he has put his family through. "I come to ask for God's forgiveness and the court's mercy," said a pale and thin Rezko.

But St. Eve was not swayed, saying that "the sentence will send a message that enough is enough."

Rezko, 56, made a name for himself as a powerful insider and fundraiser, earning a position as one of Blagojevich's top advisers and confidants from early in his administration. He had a knack for cultivating up-and-coming politicians, including state Sen. Barack Obama, who would become president.

Prosecutors portrayed Rezko as a key member of Blagojevich's "kitchen cabinet" who exercised influence over the appointments made by the governor to state boards and commissions. In return, he expected campaign contributions to be made to Blagojevich, the government alleged.

A jury convicted him in 2008 of using his clout with Blagojevich and scheming with Stuart Levine, a longtime Republican political insider, to extort millions of dollars from firms that were seeking state business or regulatory approval.

November 23, 2011 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e20153936dddb0970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "Rezko gets 10.5-year sentence; 'Enough is enough,' says judge in ruling that may bode ill for Blagojevich":

Comments

"Enough is enough" is a welcome way of thinking about crime that does not, but should, enjoy more subscription on this blog. Instead, from CP to drugs to swindles, the attitude seems to be "enough is never enough."

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 23, 2011 8:18:37 AM

Good point, Bill. I don't think the other commenters want to find cost-effective and fair ways to control crime. I think they want more crime so that maybe their families and loved ones will be victimized. Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better about your position. If Rezko's first name was Scooter, perhaps you would be writing op-eds in support of a commutation for him, too?

Posted by: Thinkaboutit | Nov 23, 2011 9:46:39 AM

Thinkaboutit --

"[C]ost-effective and fair ways to control crime" is liberalspeak for "enough is never enough." I appreciate the clarification.

"I think they want more crime so that maybe their families and loved ones will be victimized."

What they actually think, almost always correctly, is that their families will NOT be victimized, because crime victims are disproportionately from a segment of society that does not comment regularly on this board or fill the ranks of the sort of fat-cat defense bar that represented Rezko. When predominately other people become victims, these folks don't give a good God damn. Neither do you, while we're at it.

"If Rezko's first name was Scooter, perhaps you would be writing op-eds in support of a commutation for him, too?"

If Rezko had not been interested in lining his own pockets out of sheer greed, then I might look upon him differently, that's true.

The real reason the defense bar had heartburn about partial clemency for Libby, while going googoo for it for every street thug and child molestor in sight, is that Libby was a white male Republican who supported the Iraq war -- something that, on the Left, makes you somewhere near Satan. So the usual bilge about "compassion" was nowhere to be seen, replaced with fulmination and snarling.

P.S. If I were to write an op-ed, I'd sign my name to it since, unlike you, I'm happy to take responsibility for what I say.


Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 23, 2011 10:18:23 AM

"When predominately other people become victims, these folks don't give a good God damn. Neither do you, while we're at it."

I always wondered how you knew what others thought, but now you know what I think, too. Must be a heavy burden being so smart and all.

Posted by: Thinkaboutit | Nov 23, 2011 10:26:22 AM

Thinkaboutit --

I know what they think from what they write. This is some mystery? And I repeat: You don't give a good God damn about crime victims. The faux concern about victims is a PR front -- not that you bother even to pretend, which I concede is honesty after a fashion.

And oddly, I still don't see your name. Don't want to take public responsibility for trashing crime victims? Well, in a way, I don't blame you.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 23, 2011 10:36:34 AM

I wonder why Bill only criticizes people he disagrees with for not using their real names on this blog. Why, for example, does he never criticize federalist for not using his real name?

Posted by: fred | Nov 23, 2011 11:18:30 AM

B:"The real reason the defense bar had heartburn about partial clemency for Libby, while going googoo for it for every street thug and child molestor in sight, is that Libby was a white male Republican who supported the Iraq war..."

Some say the real reason the Bush Administration had heartburn about partial clemency for Libby but not other persons similarly situated is that Libby was a white male Republican who supported the Iraq war. Strange, isn't it?

B:"When predominately other people become victims, these folks don't give a good God damn."

This also explains the, well, indifference, some people sometimes feel about the fact that factually innocent persons in this land of the free are sometimes convicted for horrific crimes that those innocent persons did not commit. You know, when you think about it, those wrongfully convicted are likewise not drawn from the pool of people who comment regularly on this board or are professionals employed in a prosecutorial function by the government.

Most knives cut both ways.

Posted by: C | Nov 23, 2011 11:31:59 AM

fred --

"I wonder why Bill only criticizes people he disagrees with for not using their real names on this blog. Why, for example, does he never criticize federalist for not using his real name?"

Because federalist does not take personal shots at me. Was that too hard to figure out? And as a general matter, while I'm at it, federalist undertakes legal analysis more frequently and with more balance and detail than any other regular commenter on this blog. Most of his adversaries don't even try to refute him.

P.S. What's YOUR real name, hotshot?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 23, 2011 11:48:38 AM

C --

"This also explains the, well, indifference, some people sometimes feel about the fact that factually innocent persons in this land of the free are sometimes convicted for horrific crimes that those innocent persons did not commit."

First, go right ahead and document the fact that anyone here is "indifferent" to erroneous convictions. Should I wait?

N.B. ACCEPTING the fact of erroneous convictions, like accepting the fact of erroneous acquittals, is different from being INDIFFERENT to them. Erroneous outcomes are inevitable in ANY system, as you would know upon reaching adulthood.

Yes, if we did not have the system of elaborate review we do post-Gregg, there might possibly have been erroneous executions. And if the sun did not rise in the east, it might rise in the west.

Not that it makes a difference. You use your hypotheticals to try to cover up the fact that your side has not demonstrated that A SINGLE factually innocent person has been executed in 50 years. You people lied profusely about it in the Coleman case, but to no avail since you were exposed. Care to offer your apologies?

Didn't think so.

You can also address the fact that the FAILURE to implement the DP when it was available is what has cost innocent lives, see, e.g., Kenneth McDuff and Clarence Ray Allen. These are documented (indeed litigated) cases, not pie-in-the-sky.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 23, 2011 12:05:28 PM

"The real reason the defense bar had heartburn about partial clemency for Libby, while going googoo for it for every street thug and child molestor in sight, is that Libby was a white male Republican who supported the Iraq war"

The only reason that Bill Otis has no heartburn for partial clemency for Libby is because Libby is a white male Republican who supported the Iraq war. Libby and Cheney are street thugs in suits. The kind of thugs that Mr. Otis can relate to, which is why he goes to bat for them.

Posted by: Jay | Nov 23, 2011 12:05:37 PM

Jay --

"The only reason that Bill Otis has no heartburn for partial clemency for Libby is because Libby is a white male Republican..." etc.

Thanks, but I'll speak for myself. And I did, here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/06/AR2007060602292.html

So it wasn't merely that I had no heartburn about Libby's partial communtation; I recommended it. And would do so again. And would sign my name again, which would make it twice more than you've signed yours.

You people are just SOOOOOOOOOO impressive spitting from behind the curtain. Am I supposed to be awed?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 23, 2011 12:26:56 PM

Bill --

You're right, it shouldn't have been too hard to figure out. I was simply giving you too much credit: I thought you objected in general to commentators who take potshots at people without giving their real names. I didn't realize you only object when people take potshots at Bill Otis without giving their real names. You don't deny, nor could you, that federalist takes plenty of potshots at people (or - as you put it - spits from behind the curtain).

As for federalist's comments being "balanced," nice try, but I think the majority of readers would disagree with you on that one.

Posted by: fred | Nov 23, 2011 12:39:01 PM

Bill, you may have me confused with somebody else. First, I am neither anti nor pro DP. I would neither advocate it in states where it does not exist nor would I advocate against it in cases where it does not exist. I have never made any statement anywhere about the Coleman case. In fact, I don't know enough about it to make an informed statement on it. So I am at a loss to see where I lied or how I was exposed. Maybe you can fill me in.

I also do not understand how my hypotheticals are a cover up of the fact that fact my "side" (DP neutrals?) have not "demonstrated that A SINGLE factually innocent person has been executed in 50 years" when contemporaneously on another thread I am writing this: "there are no PROVEN instances of a factually innocent person being executed (which is true post-Furman)." If I am trying to cover this up, aren't I doing a poor job of it inasmuch as I have acknowledged it to be true (hardly a major concession by anybody).

That said, for what exactly am I supposed to be apologizing?

Posted by: C | Nov 23, 2011 12:40:58 PM

fred --

"You're right, it shouldn't have been too hard to figure out. I was simply giving you too much credit."

Is there some reason I should care if an anonymous person on an all-comers Internet forum, and having no credentials in the subject matter that have ever been mentioned, "gives" me "credit"?

If so, I'm all ears -- when you're ready to sign your name.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 23, 2011 12:56:07 PM

i have no problem with the sentence. its within guidelines i assume therefore legal.

but i do have a BIG problem with the judge!

sorry but once he made this statement!

"But St. Eve was not swayed, saying that "the sentence will send a message that enough is enough."

He LEGALY became just as much a criminal if not more so then the man he just sentenced!

Posted by: rodsmith | Nov 23, 2011 6:14:56 PM

Bill --

I'll give you still more credit: (1) For not denying my observation that you only object to people "spitting from behind the curtain" when they spit on YOU, that you seem to have no objection to folks spitting anonymously on OTHER people (as federalist does all the time); and (2) for not denying my observation that the comments of the anonymous, from-behind-the-curtain-spitter "federalist" are far from "balanced."

Posted by: fred | Nov 23, 2011 10:40:07 PM

Bill's hemorrhoids must really be acting up today....

Posted by: mike | Nov 25, 2011 4:22:08 PM

Fred, quit whining. It's pathetic. You don't like that I rip on Kagan, Sotomayor or any of the other judges that seem to have soft spots for capital murderers. Well, isn't that just too bad. With respect to commenters, I make sharp posts, but I typically don't make references to hemorrhoids or stuff like that.

With respect to a recent post, I didn't see a whole lot of defenses of Sotomayor's idiotic dissent in Thaler v. Buck. There, I just called Sotomayor's opinion "idiotic". Hang, draw and quarter me.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 26, 2011 9:24:27 AM

I think its good that upper political figures are getting hammered...10.5 yrs is definitely a long sentence for a white collar crime....But it will send a msg, especially to Illinois govenors and the likes....I would think Blago would be having some heartburn about now...Can't imagine how much pressure that must put on a person....Perhaps Blago, doesn't get it to the point that he thinks he will get probation, NOT..........Bill and Federalist, wishing both a happy Thanksgiving.....

Posted by: Josh2 | Nov 26, 2011 11:03:37 AM

The media is doing its utmost to minimize the Obama-Rezko connection. Funny that.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 26, 2011 11:55:56 AM

fred --

Since you didn't answer, I'll ask again: Is there some reason I should care if an anonymous person on an all-comers Internet forum, and having no credentials in the subject matter that have ever been mentioned, "gives" me "credit"?

P.S. I could scarecely say that federalist is anonymous, now that you bring it up. I know his name and educational and professional background, which is impressive. If you don't know these things, that is not a problem for which I am responsible.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 28, 2011 10:06:33 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB