Category: Humanities Published on Wednesday, 07 December 2011 20:22 Written by L.E. Brown Hits: 682
An eye-opening experience for the 54 year old impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich today; he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for trying to peddle the vacated senate seat of Barack Obama. Altogether Blagojevich was convicted on 18 out of 20 corruption charges. Many are asking, “was this too harsh”?
Blagojevich apologized after receiving his sentence; however the prosecutors argued that he has sadly failed the state of Illinois. Carolyn Gurland, Blagojevich’s attorney, contends, “even though he has made many mistakes, he has not received one dime for his attempts of fraudulent scheming”. She also stated; “he was influenced by many that he employed”. District Judge James Zagel rejected Gurland’s assertion her client was a follower and not a leader, and pointed to wiretapped recordings of the governor heard during his trial. The trial also revealed that supporters of Reverend Jesse Jackson Jr., were offering Blagojevich 1.5 million in campaign contributions in exchange for senate appointment.
Mr. Blagojevich’s wife, Patti gave a merciful plea to District Judge James Zagel, replying “The punishment that he fears the most, one that would be most devastating would be that he would not be able to see his daughters grow. Please be merciful." Chicago (CBS) reported today that this was the longest sentence ever handed down to a convicted Illinois Governor; and one of the longest for any political corruption case in state history.
District Judge Zagel adamantly stated that while the twice-elected Democratic Governor would be eligible under federal sentencing guidelines for a prison term of 30 years to life, a punishment that severe is “simply not appropriate within the context of this case.” Please note, Judge Zagel also attached a fine of $20,000 to his sentence. The former Governor, spoke briefly with reporters after leaving the courthouse (see video). “Well among the many lessons that I have learned from this whole experience is to try to speak a little bit less, so I’m going to keep my remarks kind of short. Patti and I are obviously very disappointed in the outcome and I frankly, am stunned," he said. "There’s not much left to say, other then, we want to get home to our little girls, and talk to them, and explain things to them, and then try and sort things out. I’m sure we’ll be seeing you guys again. Thank you.”