Ear Hustle

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Awarded New Trial After 5 Charges Vacated

ROD BLAGOJEVICH

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A federal judge vacated five convictions against former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich, which means he could be retried on those counts and, ultimately, could receive a shorter sentence.

The rest of the convictions were affirmed by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Blagojevich was convicted on 18 corruption counts over two trials. Eleven charges involved Blagojevich’s attempt to sell an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat for campaign money or a job.

He is currently serving a 14-year sentence in a Colorado prison.

“The sentence is VACATED, and REMANDED for retrial on the vacated counts,” according to the ruling, which was filed by Judge Frank H. Easterbrook on Tuesday afternoon.

If the prosecutor elects to drop the vacated charges- counts 5, 6, 21, 22 and 23, the district court could proceed directly to resentencing, according to the court document USA v. Rod Blagojevich.

“Because we have affirmed the convictions on most counts and concluded that the advisory sentencing range lies above 168 months, Blagojevich is not entitled to be released pending further proceedings.”

Blagojevich, 58, argued he’d merely engaged in legal, run-of-the-mill political horse-trading. The appeal also alleged a litany of errors by trial Judge James Zagel.

Source: ABC News

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